Writing by Write to Life
Write to Life is the longest-running refugee writing group in Britain, and the only one specifically for survivors of torture.
Thanks to the generosity of supporters, we've been going for thirteen years now. There's no time limit on membership; clients are referred while they're still in clinical treatment, and often very fragile.
The group may be the first place they can rebuild their trust in others, as they join in the meal before the workshop, listen to the friendly chatter around them, and hear, in the work read out, stories much like their own. They know they are in the company of people who understand.
Once they're settled into the workshops, they can begin writing one-to-one with our volunteer mentors, all professional writers. With the support and inspiration of the mentors the most inexperienced writers discover the skills to tell stories and write poetry. Everybody can write; it just needs a pen, some paper, time, space, and support which is what we can give them.
Over time, people may take time out to go to college, to cope with the turmoil of the asylum system, or because they get a job.
But often they come back to join us again later, as Write to Life becomes almost like family – often the only one they have.
And they keep writing.
So, over the years, we've generated a vast archive of work. Some of it has already been published or performed by our members but they wanted to share it online too, so we'll be posting it regularly from now on. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.