Project information

Educational programme

Poets work with vulnerable young people through referral units and schools, writing and reading poetry which increases communication skills, empathy (poems are often written in a different persona) and self confidence in their ability to create and perform. This programme is ongoing.

It is ongoing - poets go in for how every many sessions are required

Charity information: Ledbury Poetry Festival Limited

Ledbury Poetry Festival Limited logo
  • Need


    Young people today struggle with communication and literacy. This is common in many schools. We go into primary schools, secondary schools and referral units. The referral units we deal with have kids that have been chucked out of mainstream education due to behavioural problems which will have a knock on effect when they leave school and go out into society. Many primary schools have children that are 'quietly failing' basically sitting at the back of the class and not participating.


    Writing and performing poetry helps young people communicate, increases their self confidence when they find they can write and perform a poem and also their empathy when they hear other people read poems about difficult experiences. Others find it easier to write about something bad that has happened to them rather than talk about it. Quiet children are brought out of their shell by poets spending one to one time with them, listening, talking and working with them.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To improve young people's communication and literacy skills


    » To work with them on writing poetry in a class and on a one to one basis.

    What success will look like

    Success will be a class that produces and performs poetry.

    Aim 2

    To increase young people's self esteem and confidence


    » Creativity increases self esteem
    » Performing increases self confidence - they read in classes, during the festival and participate in Shakespeare workshops with a professional co.
    » Working on a one to one basis ensures they feel listened to and valued.

    What success will look like

    Success will be young people who behave better in class and participate more fully.

    Aim 3

    To increase their empathy - helps them integrate better in society, and improves behavioural issues.


    » Writing poetry in a different persona helps them imagine what it is like to be someone else
    » Hearing poems read about difficult experiences helps them become aware of what other people are thinking.

    What success will look like

    Success will again be by improved behaviour in class in particular with referral units with young people being better able to resolve problems

  • Impact


    On a basic level an awareness of language and increased reading and writing skills. In referral units increased empathy and self esteem leading to happier young people. This may be optimistic but our pilot sessions in a referral unit have proved a success with the young people engaged in the process - and one young girl writing about an experience she has never been able to talk about before.


    Working with referral units is risky as the young people are volatile. We use highly experienced poets who are not put off by the odd outburst. The teacher is present as well.
    All poets are CRB checked and the Festilval has a child protection policy.


    We write a full report at the end of our financial year (October). An annual report on all the activities of the festival is also produced.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £24,650

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      Amount Heading Description
      £9,000 Poetry sessions 30 school days for a poet
      £3,600 Festival School days 12 poets over two days of the festival -
      £3,000 Y Shakepeare Workshops for 6 schools
      £1,500 Heritage days 5 days where poets take young people out into historical settings for inspiration
      £4,000 Inset days 2 days where teachers can be taught how to approch poetry
      £2,150 Travel Estimated cost of travel for poets
      £1,400 Management 10% of director's salary to manage project

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Pennington Mellor Munthe Charity Trust £12,500 Guaranteed
  • Background


    In primary, secondary schools and referral units in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire


    Beneficiaries will be young people at the above schools, poets who receive employment and teachers who will be taught how to approach poetry.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have a good track record of successfully delivering projects with partners such as the Foyle Foundation, Esmee Fairbairn, Lloyds TSB. Herefordshire Council part of the reason we became a National Portfolio Organisation with the Arts Council. We have a bank of highly experienced poets and have developed good relationships with schools

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Chloe Garner

    Chloe is Festival director and will manage the project - she has managed many successful projects for the Festival.