Monday, 7 June 2021

Lessons COVID taught us about technology for wellbeing

 Pros and Cons of Digital Learning during lockdown

Today tech lovers snapped the latest MacBook up for those able to purchase it and add it with their other Apple products. Reflecting on the increase of internet use over the last year I thought about the national digital divide, the have's and have nots. We assume every Western household has a PC or laptop of some sort, and some are more fortunate to have this for their personal use. Unfortunately, many children and students who schooled at home during lockdown could not access their school online lessons for either not having access to their own laptop amongst their siblings in different age/class groups and or no technology at home at all. Some of my creative writing students could not continue their sessions because of this issue. With public libraries also closed there weren't any problem-solving suggestions for young people to continue their creative writing projects.


The cohort of young people I work with fit under the psychographic of introverts, autistic and special needs, and some demographics show they are from economically disadvantaged communities. The benefits of working in small groups with my target audience have been to tackle social isolation and encourage community integration and build confidence with one-to-one creative writing sessions, therefore the lack of physical community workshops has been taxing on their well-being for those with no laptop at home. 


There were advantages of online lessons for those who had access to a laptop and internet service. Workshops and individual sessions were essential to increase participants' self-confidence and boost their creative writing and speaking skills, having not interacted for almost one year. Human contact and community is a fundamental psychological need according to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs theory. With the diverse learning styles of individuals, it will become normal for options to either use digital learning spaces or physical community spaces for learning.


Prior to lockdown, I have mentored young people in creative writing who are homeschooling or required additional-curricular activities. As we continue to watch the unsettling work from home and homeschool situation, the online learning uptake increases for those who want to advance themselves or belong to a digital community to improve their wellbeing through communication and self-expression. 


There are abundant lessons taken from the pandemic, and the stories shared are ongoing. Creativity has peaked, people have found more time to write creatively and make time to journal. It has been a lesson for me to adapt to working online as a creative writing teacher and upskill with online teaching training. I look forward to furthering partnerships as a mentor with inspiring future creative writers.

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Mental Health For All

 Reflections on 2020

It has been an unsettling year as the world faced the pandemic of COVID-19, a disease unknown to us all. The consequences have affected health, employment, the economy, and sadly the loss of loved ones. The times of uncertainty financially and socially has increased many people's stress levels and creative arts and exercise participation has increased. Writing for the sake of self-analysis is a tested tool to help make sense of our lives and situations. This Friday World Mental Health Day 2020 under the theme of Mental Health For All, we (Jo Robinson, Anita Kelly, and myself) are hosting a writing for wellbeing workshop for a few people to come together to talk and write about the challenges faced over the last few months and how they may have surmounted the problems.

Here is the link to book yourself on to the workshop:

Eventbrite


Wednesday, 24 June 2020

How to improve your Creative Confidence- National Writing Day

A short story during the lockdown and some tips

On this scorching morning, a collective of emerging writers arose to the sun's rays. Their minds in sync, overcoming the fear of coming out as a writer on national writing day,  the hottest day of the year of 2020. They logged in to ZOOM one by one, the natural order of the day nowadays on lockdown. Stories shared, and the passion of creativity connected the participants. In suspense, we as a group of promising writers now wait to see the outcomes from today, as they churn away creating their works.

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Lessons for the Write Mind

Mental Health Awareness Week
Writing Webinar
led by Amanda Epe, Jo Robinson, and Anita Kelly
The past week with kindness as a theme for mental health awareness week, my colleagues and I began the week with free delivery of writing for wellbeing webinar, as a therapy to cope with the lockdown.

An intimate group of 13 participants joined the webinar to reflect and write about their resilience in overcoming struggles in the past, delivered by Mental Health Trainer Anita Kelly. Writing workshop facilitator Jo Robinson talked about lockdown learning, what have people learned about themselves, looking at the positives, and how they have been kind to themselves prompting the writing task.

Monday, 27 April 2020

Pros and Cons of Writing a Memoir

Best time to write
Fly Girls Wellness - Writing Coaching
During this lockdown period, many people find they can use their time for things they've always never found the time to do, such as more reading and writing. The Mirror compiled a list of the best travel adventure memoirs to read during the quarantine period and A Fly Girl Travel Tales book was fortunate named number 6 on this list, yay!

Reading other authors' memoirs can surely inspire the writer in you to tell your story and start writing. Whether it's a travel tale or another significant area to reflect on, it's a grand time to put pen to paper. Here are 6 Pros and one Con of writing a memoir:

Friday, 20 March 2020

Run Together : COVID-19

Stay Socially Connected
Fly Girls UK - Stronger Together
On Tuesday going on information by our governing body England Athletics and Public Health England we suspended our social meetings, run activities and so forth until April because of COVID19. It was disheartening to hear that the epidemic would cancel our meetings until further notice and social distancing is the order of the day. Our members had recently returned to join the Spring Season Sunday meetings after long-term injuries and were looking forward to exciting expeditions along the canals and further afield.

Over the years members have made friends and bonded and also made Fly Girls Wellness Sunday morning activities their routine. In the same vein, emerging writers and others who attend the writing workshops for wellbeing enjoyed the benefits of meeting each other and new people to share writing and discuss topics they write about in a trusting space. So the news of postponed activities hit everyone hard.

Thursday, 12 March 2020

How we celebrate IWD 2020

Each for Equal with Fly Girls

We are in our favourite period celebrating International Women's Day, Week, Month and looking forward to the year 2020 for the Fly Girls Wellness project.

On Sunday 8th, International Women's Day Fly Girls be active walk & run group met for Sunday celebrations after our regular run, to share stories and have a healthy drink, it was cheering to all who took part in the Vitality Big Half Marathon, and a special cheers to three of our first time half marathoners.

Our first-timers are still smiling since the 1st March, they say running uplifts you and we know that buzz you get afterward. However, our team are feeling on a high for their achievements, Jackie a very easy going gentle paced runner had recently started training for the event and had a smashing time of 2hrs and 34 mins, running most of the race and walking the last 3 miles.