‘The writer will see you now’: Writer in Residence to help Newcastle Hospitals staff share their stories

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We’re excited to announce that NHS staff across The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will soon have the chance to tell their stories and develop their writing talents, thanks to a new ‘Writer in Residence’ initiative – set up by us in collaboration with Newcastle Hospitals Charity.

Laura Lindow’s residency is the first of its kind in the region and comes as the NHS turns 75 this year. The award-winning writer will support Newcastle Hospitals staff, across their sites and within the community, to share their experiences – providing them with creative writing skills and editorial support.

As part of the 75th anniversary celebrations, Laura will edit a book showcasing staff contributions. We’ll then launch this unique collection at a special event in 2024, with readings from contributors.

The Writer in Residency programme aims to offer NHS employees new opportunities to express themselves and to strengthen bonds with other colleagues across the hospital trust. Who knows – we may even find the next Adam Kay!

Laura will support and encourage staff to choose what they want to write about – be that ‘life on the frontline’, short stories, memoir, or something completely different. Some of the work will also form part of ‘NHS Staff Stories’, a national NHS initiative artistically directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah, Artistic Director of the Young Vic Theatre.

Participants can engage at whatever level suits them – attending anything from informal drop-in sessions to taster workshops to interviews or working with Laura to develop complete writing projects. Laura will also generate her own piece of work, as part of her residency.

As well as being a North East resident, Laura is herself no stranger to Newcastle Hospitals’ staff: she regularly appears as the much-loved clown doctor, ‘Dr Lulu McDoo’, working with children in hospital and their families.

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