Courage to Be Me

Writing for Wellbeing

Writing for Wellbeing for Schools and Academies

Courage to Be Me is a writing for wellbeing programme that provides; early intervention group work based on expressive writing and reading of poems relevant to students’ lives to give support for their personal development, social and emotional needs.

The programme is designed to improve self-esteem, build confidence and help young people at key stage 3-5, manage exam stress and develop the skills required to cope with life’s challenges.

Key benefits to your school for implementing Courage To Be Me

The programme can help your school or academy improve your pupil’s spiritual, moral social and cultural development, a key aspect of the Ofsted framework.

The programme aims to:

Support students manage exam stress

  • Reduce the incidence of bullying, exclusions, unauthorised absences and anti-social behaviour within school.
  • Support students by discussing and debating relevant issues, including healthy relationships and help pupils develop skills to stay safe from abuse and exploitation.
  • Develop resilience and enable students to improve their emotional and mental wellbeing.
  • Results are achieved by raising student’s self-esteem, confidence and by providing tools for students to cope with daily pressures of school and home life.
  • Delivery of Courage To Be Me is carefully tailored to each school, so that the unique challenges in your student population are effectively addressed.

Benefits to your students

The programme provides students with opportunities to discuss sensitive and relevant issues openly through poetry. Our approach helps to stimulate debate and can help students develop empathy, resilience, and break down barriers when talking about emotional and mental wellbeing.

Structured delivery of the Courage To Be Me programme

Courage To Be Me delivery consists of a series of time-limited, weekly groups, based on the reading and writing of poetry in an open, non-judgemental way.

Developing and using creative and expressive writing is integral to the successful delivery of the programme. The focus is on personal development, not on writing techniques, however our approach can indirectly improve literacy skills. Students will have an opportunity to try out various writing exercises and we will use them as the basis for discussion and further exploration.

Students are encouraged to continue writing via a journal in between sessions. This practice gives students tools to help discover and enhance their self-awareness with the aim of improving their individual long term wellbeing.

Objectives of the programme

By the end of the programme students should be able to:
• Recognise an increase in their self-awareness, self-confidence and self-esteem
• Express and manage difficult feelings
• Utilise the learning journey to develop positive coping strategies
• Acknowledge and challenge negative self-talk
• See an increase in their motivation, and begin to set goals for success
• Have a sense of re-engagement in creativity and literacy skills enabling them to focus on emotional, and academic success.

Developing a connection with others

Students expressly benefit when they share their writing. Hearing their words validated by others can be a powerful learning experience and can lead to deeper levels of understanding and increased confidence. The group can also provide support as individuals delve into understanding layers of the self, accept who they are, how they could achieve balance, and negotiate difficult experiences.

Courage to Be Me

If you have any questions about the programme or you would like to offer this programme in your school or academy, I will be happy to answer them for you.

I normally respond to enquiries as soon as possible, if I am unable to respond immediately I aim to reply within 24 hours.


About the facilitator
Charmaine Pollard is an experienced BACP registered/ accredited counsellor, life coach and certified poetry therapist. She qualified as a poetry therapist with The International Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy in U.S.A. She uses a range of practical techniques drawn from Coaching, Positive Psychology, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Poetry Therapy and Stress Management theories. She is a member of NAWE – the National Association for Writers in Education and Lapidus International the words for wellbeing association.

FREE Taster Workshop
To introduce Courage to Be Me, Charmaine Pollard can offer a free taster workshop to your students.

What I gained from being in the group
Understanding poems
Easy to express myself
More comfortable talking
Knowledge on serious subjects
New friendships and a more mature point of view
Writing down how I feel
Making our own poem
Poems are from the heart and people get different messages from them
Trust people
Talking as a group
How to express my feelings with writing it down
Learn about people
Gain more confidence
Talk about your feelings
Discuss the things that are important to us

Year 8, 9 and 11 Students

How writing has helped
You find out more about yourself
Its made my writing free
Express myself
Write freely
Put a point across
Express my emotions
Helped me understand other people’s thoughts and feelings
Helped me come to terms with how I am feeling
Being able to talk to others about what I wrote
I am more open minded
Confidence in speaking and writing
Year, 8, 9 and 11 Students

Our Group
The experience is great
And the listening is pretty fun too
I’ve gained confidence and knowledge too
Which is pretty cool
But I think listening is the most important tool
Year 11 Student

Our Group
Being in this group has given me a better understanding of life, for example
what people go through and what you can do to help them. Also that writing or talking about your feelings can help.
Year 11 student

On the right side
U for understanding one’s emotions
R for rectifying the faults in our own universe with our aid

G for gaining wisdom through our experience
R for resolutions of Joy
O were on top of the world
U for you and I , together
P for the pride we take in calling ourselves gracious girls
Year 11 Student