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Just over a fortnight ago, I received the following message from Claire Askew:

For nearly a year, as well as doing my teaching job, I’ve also been doing some work with an organisation called Women Supporting Women.  WSW is a not-for-profit community organisation that provides resources and services to vulnerable women and girls in Edinburgh.

We’ve been doing this AMAZING project with a small group of women from Pilton, Edinburgh’s “most deprived” suburb (apparently).  They’ve been reading poems, creating responses, and they’re now in the process of learning how to make short films about their experiences.  They’ve learned SO MUCH in the past few months — at the start, none of them had ever read a poem, been to a library, or used a film camera.  Now they’re writing poems of their own, and their films are going to be screened in cinemas across Scotland!  It’s inspirational stuff.

Basically, the project is now coming to an end (sad face), and we want to produce some kind of physical THING that the women can keep, to remember all the hard work they’ve done.  We decided to make a book, as this will also allow members of the public to see what we’ve been up to, and maybe run similar projects in their own communities.

BUT, to make the book, we need sponsors:

We need as many people as possible to look at that link, in the hope that they’ll donate a bit of money to our cause.  If you can (only if you can!) and want to (only if you want to!) donate, then depending on the amount you may well get a little reward— see the link for more details!

A big thank you in advance to all of you for even so much as clicking that link — you rock.

This sounds like an extremely worthwhile project, and one that demonstrates a little of how deep an impact and importance the arts have in life and society, well beyond bald monetary considerations. There is less than a week left to sponsor the project, so I urge you to go and click.

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