Coram ‘Voices Through Time’ inspires voices for the future

June 29, 2023

Collage by Exposure using image of fountain pen by Chris from Pixabay and image of Foundling Museum by Alan Stanton

Creative project reignites John Cai‘s belief in his writing abilities

At the children’s charity Coram, I was a participant in the Voices Through Time programme which reflects on how people came into care and how the foundations of the care system were set up.

The exploration through time gave young people an opportunity to step into the shoes of the Coram children and channel their experiences through creative writing.

Each different session of the project involved a new element of creative writing which was built upon each week. Through my time at the project, I learnt to articulate and express myself through a few methods of exploring my imagination using creative writing.

An example could be where, in one session, I read a Coram foundling story where a girl went blind in her childhood and had to endure harsh discipline. Through here, the project gave me the chance to act out, open and see how it made people feel, and relating this to the creative writing.

I enjoyed the Coram project greatly as it gave me an opportunity to be part of a community with similar experiences

I wanted to attend the creative writing course because I am writing a book. I had great difficulty as to how to structure my thoughts and decided to give the project a try!

When Brian, who was one of the facilitators, gave a demonstration of how to free write it was here where the spark for my book reignited! I would personally recommend this project to other young people as well as a visit to the London Metropolitan Archives which is where Coram’s Foundling Hospital Archive is kept. Without a doubt, you’d be surprised at the lifestyles the children had at the time!

Ann Watson’s admission certificate, 1778, from Coram’s Foundling Hospital Archive (A/FH/A/11/002/015/018b). Copyright © Coram. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial (CC BY-NC).

I enjoyed the Coram project greatly as it provided an opportunity to be part of a community with similar experiences and the chance to be open and vulnerable in a safe and comfortable environment.

Other aspects I loved about the Coram project is the people. I couldn’t ask for anyone better. They were very friendly, open and welcoming which is an absolute delight as I can be shy at times!

The Coram project was able to provide a spark of belief that I am capable of writing and that, at any moment, we can always reconnect with our creative side. With certainty, I can say the project has left memories which I cherish and would recommend to anyone looking to understand further about care.

Reality is your own definition, experience and perception. Go make your best reality!

The Stories of Care creative project was part of Coram’s Voices Through Time: The Story of Care programme, made possible by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The creative writing facilitator was Brian Mullins.

Read John’s piece of creative writing on the Foundling Hospital for Coram.

In partnership with Coram, changing lives, laws and systems to create better chances for children, now and forever

John is a naturalist, creative artist and writer currently working as a barista. He aspires to travel the world with the goal of seeing as many animals as he can. Another aspiration is to climb Everest and to create a business to help others globally. In his personal time, he enjoys writing, creating and exploring different projects and ideas. One of his achievements is having facilitated the birth of many young animals ranging from fish, sheep and reptiles. Birth is a magical moment!

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