Journalist Emma Geliot has written a piece about the Healing Words project for this month’s edition of the Artists Newsletter. Information about the magazine can be found online.

Over the Summer of 2009, the ‘Healing Words’ project bought together artists, poets and people from Blaenau Gwent to take a journey of words and images.


The project aimed to give people coping with mental health issues the opportunity to express themselves through poetry and art.

Head 4 Arts identified three groups for the project at Ysbyty’r Tri Chwm in Ebbw Vale, Hafal in Llanhilleth and the Mentro Allan group at Parc Bryn Bach. Academi writers Graham Hartrill, Anita Flowers and Mike Church worked with participants to develop shared writing, whilst Arts Alive artists Kate Raggett, Tim Rossiter and Tessa Waite helped groups create a visual response.

The importance of the arts to health and wellbeing extends to all areas of family and social life, and Gwent Arts in Health is a local charity that works alongside the Aneurin Bevan Local Health Board (formally Gwent NHS Trust) to promote and develop an arts and health programme for the patients and public in healthcare and community settings.

A set of poetry posters was produced – six from each of the participating groups – that offer both a collective and individual response to the project. The project concluded with an evening of poetry from the poets and participants at Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny where the poster poems were on display.

The project was funded by GARTH, Academi, Head4Arts and Arts Alive.


For more information about the project partners, please visit their websites:


Arts Alive: