Exciting opportunity for a Creative Writer to work with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals staff

Posted on: 27 July 2021

Opportunity: We are looking to commission a Creative Writer to deliver a series of 8 workshop sessions for our staff. 

Staff Art Club: We have recently set up our Staff Art Club, co-funded by Sheffield Hospitals Charity and Arts Council England, to give employees at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals the opportunity to develop new creative interests that help support their general and mental health & wellbeing during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Although we anticipate these workshops to be of therapeutic benefit, they are not 'therapy'. Reflection on recent/past times can, and probably will be part of the sessions, however, they are not intended to provide psychological support to address the traumatic experiences caused by the pandemic. Rather, we are aiming to provide a creative outlet for our staff and for it to be a positive, joyful, restorative, energising, hopeful, imaginative and social experience. 

We know from feedback that participants have enjoyed learning new creative skills, that many wish to continue developing these skills, and that they feel more valued as a member of staff. 100% of staff who've taken part said they would recommend the sessions to colleagues and either agreed or completely agreed that the workshops improved their general wellbeing.

creative writing project

Creative Writing workshops:

When? Start date: Tuesday 5 October 2021. We'd like to propose that the 8 workshops run every 2 weeks to give staff time to reflect on each session, develop their ideas, and prepare for the next session.

How? Due to restrictions around meeting in groups, we are providing the Staff Art Club online, delivered via the MS Teams platform. As we are uncertain how the situation around Covid-19 will progress longer term, it may be best to plan for this course to be delivered online only. We anticipate a group size of approx. 60 members of staff. MS Teams can provide breakout rooms for people to interact in smaller groups. It may be possible for the Creative Writing workshop leader to meet participants in small groups if this is a preferred option, but it will depend on the latest Sheffield Teaching Hospitals guidelines. Most of the people who took part in our previous Staff Art Club workshops stated they would prefer a ‘blended learning’ approach; a combination of online and face-to-face sessions.

The opportunity for staff to take part in the sessions will be advertised via the staff e-bulletin produced by our Communications team; the staff engagement newsletter produced by our Staff Wellbeing department; posters in and around the canteen areas; direct targeting via managers of porters, domestics and catering staff; Nurse Directors for sharing with their departments as well as our ‘Diversity and Inclusion’, ‘Ethnic Minorities’ and ‘Only Women’ staff groups. 

Anticipated outcomes: We'd like to produce a booklet of texts written by staff to include in our Arts Activities Packs that we provide for patients recovering in our hospitals (possibly with an option for patients to add their own poetry or prose). 

We also hope to distribute this booklet to all Sheffield Teaching Hospitals staff. Staff who are happy to have their work published can decide to have their name printed or remain anonymous.

Arts Activities Volunteers may use the text/poems in their reading sessions with patients. Some of the work may be framed and displayed in ward areas or included on our website for patients and staff to download.

There is a chance that work may be incorporated in the design of the Secret Garden (staff wellbeing garden) to be installed at the Northern General Hospital in 2022.

Fees: The total budget for this project is £1,440.00 to provide 8 workshop sessions. The fee is inclusive of VAT, preparation time, and some support with evaluation. 

How to apply: Please submit a short proposal (500 words max.) including the following:

  • how you would approach this project
  • what experience you will bring to the project
  • why you believe you have the right personal and professional skills to work sensitively with people who have been directly or indirectly exposed to the traumatic experiences of colleagues, patients (and their relatives) affected by Covid-19.

Please note that the opportunity to take part in the Creative Writing Workshop will be advertised to all staff at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals (around 17,000 employees) – some of whom have been redeployed during the pandemic, shielding, and/or working from home. 

Please email your proposal to mir.jansen@nhs.net with ‘Creative Writing Project Proposal’ in the subject box.

Deadline for applications: Thursday 26 August, 5pm.

Start date: Tuesday 5 October 2021 (completion by January 2022).

The Arts in Health team relies on the goodwill of our dedicated team of volunteers. We also regularly work with professional artists and musicians on a variety of creative projects across the Trust.