Lottie Davies leading a creative workshop for staff

Havens Creative Writing and Photography Workshops

Fostering wellbeing through creativity

As part of the Havens project, staff were treated to a unique opportunity to explore their creativity thanks to a series of creative writing and photography workshops led by Havens artists, Lottie and Craig.

The workshops offered staff a different way to participate in the project, looking at how creativity could be a haven, providing a welcome distraction from their demanding work. They opened up new, possibly untapped, creative outlets helping staff discover new ways to express themselves and explored how photography and writing could help reduce stress and boost overall wellbeing – and even better, without the need for fancy equipment of prior experience.

The workshops were also an opportunity for staff from different departments to meet each other and build new connections in a relaxed setting.

For the photography workshops, participants were shown how they could use their mobile phones to discover their artistic side. After learning some tips about composition and the use of natural light, they went off in pairs to take photos of the surrounding nature and architecture and shot portraits of each other. These photos were shared with the group and discussed in an informal circle.

The creative writing workshops led staff through a series of writing prompts, resulting in a couple of personal narratives describing places that were special to the author. These were shared in pairs and discussed as a full group. 

By providing a space for creativity and connection, the Havens project empowered NHS Lothian staff to find well-deserved moments of renewal and self-expression, as well as helping to foster a positive and supportive work environment.

The workshops were designed to fit around busy schedules, lasting only 1.5 hours and held at times when shifts would generally end. We are very grateful to the staff members at each site who offered spaces for us to use and helped advertise the events at their locations.

The positive feedback received paves the way for exciting future creative activities, designed to support the wellbeing of staff.

Workshops were held at the Western General Hospital, the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and St. John’s Hospital in Livingston.

Stories and Portraits

Join our amazing NHS Lothian staff on their journey to discover their hidden havens – those peaceful pockets within the busy healthcare environment where they find moments of quiet to recharge.

Portrait of Terry Henderson