Project coordinated by Bridget Handley
To inform the transitions conference, children and young people worked with the Welsh writer and performer, Clare E. Potter to creatively explore their experiences of transitions. Their discussions, writing and artwork provide powerful evidence that transitions are complex, essential periods of change. We hope that these resources will inspire and inform.
An introduction to transitions
This video, featuring the poet Claire Potter, provides a powerful introduction to the topic of transitions.
A coastal round house at the Urdd Centre, Camp Llangrannog provided a stimulating location to explore transitions with care experienced 7- to 11-year-olds who enjoyed a summer playscheme organised by Ceredigion’s Project Co-ordinator for Looked After Children. Clare facilitated an inspiring day that was packed full of poetry, spoken word and art. Transitions were perceived as opportunities and the themes of power, relationships and love featured strongly. When preparing for transitions the children recommended that, ‘They don’t just fly off, they have to learn to fly.’
A group of young people involved with Voices Carmarthen helped to scope this project by highlighting how school and family transitions can impact upon mental health. They warned that, ‘During transitions those who shout the loudest and demand angrily get a response, but if you are quiet, shy, patient you are ignored.’ The young people also discussed the importance of emotional support during transitions to help individuals move from ‘Surviving to thriving.’
Young people involved with Llamau identified a range of transitions that encompassed, styles, relationships, and places. One of their talented poets wrote, ‘There’s always a bit of light in any problem you have, and you can always make that light brighter if you believe in yourself.’
This project has reinforced the importance of taking the time to listen to children and young people. Their insightful views have informed the Transitions Conference and provided inspiring input that reminds us of the importance of flexible, individualised support. We offer grateful thanks to the children and young people who were involved, Clare for providing the inspiration and to Diana Lewes-Gale, Sian Jones and Annie Galt who co-ordinated the group work.
The following images highlight the process used to develop the poetry.
Yeah, I’m feeling way better in the space that I’m in. Lost many times so I’m happy when I win. I’m human so the words that you said affect me. Playin’ on my mind and in private it upsets me. I don’t care anymore. In these places, I just fear more and more. I’m using the grief to build a belief that I’m a winner everyday so I doing fear anymore. I’ma show you the greatest till you’re sick of it. Overcome so much when in the thick of it. This ain’t a Holy Ghost cause I’ve been on it everyday and every way I’ve written it. Believe me, I’ma party when it’s over. No car cause I’m moving with a chauffeur. Time really is the best. To healing with my own success. Until I become the best. And when I’m next revealing.
Danger, anger. One of us just lost to our failure. I swear this is another sad song. Just tell me is this how we’re supposed to be? So I say this prayer. Dear God, why did I need all this medicine to contain my anger? And do you even exist? Their all tryna say your a myth. A lotta things left on read. A lotta things unsaid. Can you just ride with me? Heads f!?*ked up. And this reminder where I came from. Having to through through s!?*t to keep me writing. So I guess this is my titanic with no one to direct my draft of it.
Some of the young people recorded their poems.
Rhian, Jo-anne and Rowan have been exploring the topic of transitions through poetry.
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