Covid-19 creative writing project to improve mental health

The creative writing project was the brainchild of Elga Logue, Librarian of the Ballymagroarty and Hazelbank Community Partnership, and was funded by the Neighborhood Health Improvement Project.

The initiative aimed to reach out to families and improve the mental health and well-being of the local community during the closure of schools and public places.

Speaking at this week’s launch, Min McCann, Director, Ballymagroarty and Hazelbank Community Partnership, said: ‘This initiative aimed to help improve the mental health and wellbeing of local residents through engagement, as well only to help address and respond to feelings of loneliness and isolation as a direct result of the Covid 19 lockdown and restrictions.

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St. Eithne PS Principal Terence McDowell with pupils David Flanagan and Aoife O’Reilly who have published stories in the book ‘Creative Writing Project’.

“We also wanted to embrace the ‘fun’ element of the project by reaching out to adults, teens and kids who really enjoy creative writing.”

Brendan McGinn, Principal of St. Mary’s College, said: “It was a great initiative and a perfect platform for our students and indeed all students in the area to record their feelings and memories of Covid, especially the locks. Sincere thanks to Min and indeed the Ballymagroarty Hazelbank Community Partnership for reaching out and working with the schools and congratulations to all the participants and winners.

Sinead O’Connor, Head of English at St. Mary’s who has been heavily involved in the project, added: “It has been a privilege for the English department at St. Mary’s to be involved in this project. very special creative writing.

“We had just returned to school after the second lockdown and this project gave our students an imaginative outlet to explore their feelings about ‘community’ and their experiences of lockdown. Our students are thrilled to be published authors now!

Ms Elga Logue (left), Community Librarian, pictured at the book launch on Tuesday with Min McCann, Manager, BHCP, and Lauren Curran, Health Development Officer, BHCP.

Elga Logue thanked everyone who contributed to the post.

“I would like to thank Brendan McGinn, Principal, St. Mary’s College, Sinead O’Connor, Head of English, St. Mary’s, Terence McDowell, Principal, St. Eithne’s Primary School, and the Health Improvement Project at district (NHIP) for the funding of the creative writing project.

“A special word of praise to Min McCann, Director, and Lauren Curran, Health Development Manager, Ballymagroarty and Hazelbank Community Partnership for their assistance throughout the program.”

Throughout the creative writing project, all submissions received were also posted virtually via Facebook, and at the end of the initiative, all submissions were collated with the aim of producing a hardback publication as a commemorative keepsake and heirloom. for posterity.

Community Librarian Elga Logue pictured with, left to right, St. Eithne PS students Aoife O’Reilly and David Flanagan, and, right, Sophie Organ and Rori Fitzpatrick, St Mary’s College.

All participants received a free novel for participating in the project.

Group pictured at St. Mary’s College for the ‘Creative Writing Project’ book launch, funded by the Ballymagroarty Hazelbank Community Partnership. From left to right, Terence McDowell, Director, St. Eithne’s PS, Lauren Curran, Health Development Officer, BHCP, Elga Logue, Community Librarian, Min McCann, Manager, BHCP, Sinead O’Connor, English Manager , St. Mary’s College and Brendan McGinn, Principal, St. Mary’s College. (Photos: Jim McCafferty Photography)