Impact case study: Yasmine Bridge

“The first thing that struck me about the 18-25 Writers’ Group was how friendly it was… It’s a completely non-judgemental environment.”

Yasmine Bridge

Yasmine Bridge, member of New Writing North Young Writers

Our 18-25 Writers’ Group supports young writers to hone their writing skills, try new forms and learn about careers in arts and literature. The group meets weekly during term time and is supported by a professional writer who runs a programme co-designed with participants around their needs and interest.

Yasmine Bridge joined the 18-25 Writers’ Group after attending our Young Writers’ Summer programme in 2021. She became a regular at sessions, supporting her peers through discussion and collaboration, and sharing her own work during workshops and in their annual showcase.

In 2022 Yasmine was supported by a Talent Fund bursary to attend a screenwriting course at Lime Studios. She also attended our Faber & Faber Insight into Publishing trip to London, where she learnt about how a book is developed and produced through the various roles and departments of a major publishing house.

In September 2022 she started a MA in Creative Writing in Edinburgh.

New Writing North is friendly and welcoming

“The first thing that struck me about the 18-25 Writers’ Group was how friendly it was – it was so friendly, to enter a place where vulnerabilities were shared. Naturally when you’re talking about your creative work your personal life is going to come into it – it felt so welcoming. The group has opened my eyes to different forms. In the past I have been quite focussed on just writing poetry, I never thought about reading it aloud. It has opened my eyes to that, and I enjoy that now.
It’s a completely non-judgemental environment, and that’s quite rare. It’s a positive kick up the bum to get stuff done. The opportunities have been really beneficial and relevant.’

Yasmine Bridge, 2022

When we first started meeting for the sessions there was a strong sense of grief felt by the young people for what they had missed during the pandemic. As well as social and educational opportunity, the young people talked about the impact of missing the chance to explore creative opportunities. This was particularly poignant for Yasmine who had completed the bulk of her university life in the storm of the pandemic. Yasmine felt the finish line was in sight but that she hadn’t had the defining ‘uni experience’, despite paying for it. In particular, Yasmine felt she hadn’t had the opportunity to develop the confidence to access and share spaces as an equal with her more affluent peers. The group gave her space to reflect on what her aspirations had been when she had started at university. It was a warm, safe and supportive space and the young people were able to use it to decompress. I think the chance to reflect outside of the academic arena gave Yasmine the opportunity to talk beyond what she has missed and start to cultivate a plan for how she could make the most of her last year at university.

The support from the group helped her galvanise momentum. Yasmine had a passion for performance and she enjoyed writing a feminist performance piece that she performed with her friend at Alphabetti Theatre. Yasmine then worked to set targets and goals and identify steps and strategies that would help her navigate barriers to reaching those goals. Yasmine went on to audition with the university’s theatre society and was over the moon to be cast in a lead role. She bloomed in confidence and was elated by the experience. I think she felt she had been able to reclaim some of what the pandemic had taken. It was a real joy to work with Yasmine and to champion her in her final year. I look forward to hearing about where life’s adventure takes her next.

Emily Wiseman, 18-25 Writers’ Group Leader 2021-2022