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Project information

Writer in Residence

The effect of writing on our service users, who are recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, has been very remarkable. We have run writing workshops in the past and have had great results. We would like to develop this work further and to be able to reach more people.

April 2011 - April 2012

Charity information: Vita Nova

Vita Nova logo
  • Need


    Suffering from low self esteem and lack of confidence, people in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction often find it hard to come to terms with their past and to express themselves. Having been isolated from society it is very hard for people to reengage and integrate.


    The use of writing, and the performance of this work, as a means of building self esteem and confidence has shown to be effective. Working with people in a similar position, who are very supportive of each other and with the guidance of an experienced writer will help to build confidence and self esteem whilst, also, redeveloping social skills in a safe environment. This process will instill confidence in participants.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To build the self-esteem and confidence of our service users.


    » Weekly writing workshops.
    » Three performance events and delivery of work to other groups e.g: treatment centres, youth groups, youth offenders, prisons, mental health units.
    » Individual one to one sessions.
    » End the year with a week long residency at an Arvon Foundation Centre for a group of the participants selected on merit, reliability and motivation.

    What success will look like

    Success will be the number of participants who can show how they have grown through the work - through gaining employment, entering education, performing at other events.

    Aim 2

    To provide drug and alcohol awareness work using writing and 'authentic voice' of recovering people.


    » Delivery of work to other groups e.g: treatment centres, youth groups, youth offenders, prisons, mental health units.
    » Three performance evenings.
    » Other performances at literary festivals, conferences etc.
    » Potential performance on local radio.

    What success will look like

    Success will be receiving positive feedback from audiences in schools, prisons, youth centres etc.

    Aim 3

    Publish an anthology of selected work over the year.


    » Select suitable pieces throughout the residency and at the Arvon Foundation writers' week.

    What success will look like

    Success will be having enough good pieces to produce this and having it published.

  • Impact


    Long term changes would be the continued recovery of participants (remaining free from active addiction). The continuation of the project after this funding. The effectiveness of the educational work.


    Lack of participants - unlikely due to previous interest shown in our writing workshop.


    Regular updates on numbers, performances and progress. The Vita Nova newsletter is published every two/three months and will have regular updates.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £14,690

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £5,200 Writer Writer in residence fee
      £1,040 Venue Hire Hire of venue for workshops
      £4,000 Residential Arvon Foundation Writers' Course
      £2,950 Admin Training, Publicity, Office staff/management
      £1,500 Anthology Printing and design costs
  • Background


    The project will be based in Boscombe and Springbourne in Bournemouth.


    The Boscombe West and Springbourne area of Bournemouth includes areas that are in the 10% most deprived in the country (indices of deprivation) and has high levels of unemployment, drug addiction and prostitution.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Vita Nova has worked with people in recovery since 1999 and has built up a good reputation within both the general community and the 'recovery' community for delivering strong educational work and supporting its service users and volunteers.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Nell Leyshon

    Local Author has worked productively with service users. Written for Globe Theatre and Royal Court.

    Dave Walker

    Project Worker, experienced in working closely with service users and volunteers.

    Ignatius Harling

    Coordinator, Experience at delivering our educational work.