I trained as a primary school teacher and worked in London state schools for 16 years before moving to Devon where I retrained to teach literacy to adults. I have worked for Devon Adult and Community Learning for 4 years.
I started teaching literacy at The Esther Community in April 2012. I had been working there for two weeks when I suggested that the group tried some autobiographical writing. The following week Anna wrote, ‘The Last Straw’. I was completely blown away with how well she could write, as well as being shocked at her story. But Anna had found it therapeutic to write about the events in her past and she wanted to write more. I decided to make a collection of their writing, and this book is the result of that work. I did not know when we started just how therapeutic writing could be and how much my group could be helped by writing about things that had happened in their lives. This has been one of the most worthwhile aspects of the whole project.
This book has taken over a year to complete, has been an unforgettable experience and is certainly the highlight of my career. Having the chance to work with such talented and vibrant writers and seeing their work finally in print has really been a dream come true.
My hope is that by sharing these stories we will empower others and maybe then they will write their own stories, and discover for themselves the power and joy of writing.