It's not very often that Tim and I are lost for words or overwhelmed by situations, especially in workshops. This tuesday afternoon we had our last workshop at Coville House accommodation for women who have suffered domestic violence and homelessness. The names of the participants have been changed for their privacy.
We arrived to find two lone residents waiting for us, Louise and Claire. This is going to be a quiet session, we thought. Tim askedLouise if she would be joining in and she said she most definitely would not be. "I will watch if that is ok?" At this point Tim started to make up a song about her and the fact that she would not come and join in. She found this really amusing and started to giggle every time her name was mentioned in the song. We then asked her if she would join in a little acting warm up and she said she would have a go but only if it did not involve singing.
The pair of them were fab and really got into it, so much so that we were blown away by what they were doing. The exercise is very simple and uses about five words in all but it did the job.
We then asked them if she would like to act out a scenario based around a job centre interview.
Their confidence grew and grew – especially Louise who had not wanted to take part - and we were in stitches watching the drama unfold. From there it was an obvious step to do some singing and the Louise was now definitely up for it!
We sang the Power of Love, Yesterday and By The Rivers of Babylon. Both Louise and Claire were now rocking and really enjoying themselves. So much so, in fact, that the staff kept coming in to see what was going on!
Why not up the stakes and write a song? Lets write a song about things we could change in our lives and how we really would like to live. No probs!! Within ten minutes and with a little help from us they wrote a a very moving and poignant piece, which we promptly recorded.
At the end Louise told us she normally stays in her room most of the time feeling down about life and having no reason to leave her room and engage in living. "This is the first time I have felt good about myself in years, I can't believe what I have achieved today and I really enjoyed it."
She went on to tell us she felt so confident and hoped that the feeling would remain. One never knows the effect one can have on another person's life and we certainly left feeling incredibly fulfilled and happy after what could have been a very quiet workshop.