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A woman poses in a local park amangst the trees on a sunny day

On the trail of greater wellbeing

“Everyday life can be so demanding for so many of us. I’ve always loved outdoor games and writing, so to find a way to combine to them to inject some fun and play seems natural,” said the woman behind a creative new project promoting wellbeing.

The Ealing Writing Trail is due come into to being this spring and will include a scavenger hunt giving everyone an imaginative way to explore Ealing – whatever the age, whatever the weather. QR codes for smartphones will be placed strategically in and around Ealing Broadway, with an interactive and downloadable map for participants to use and navigate with.

Along the trail, people will seek and find quotes by British writers, musicians and artists, both past and present, that celebrate the relationship between creativity and wellbeing; as well as activity prompts to make people think or help them get creative; and also a clue to a wider puzzle.

There will also be writing workshops taking place on certain dates along the trail, providing opportunities for people of all ages to boost their creativity and wellbeing through writing.

The project has been created and co-ordinated by Poonam Madar, who said: “I run writing workshops myself and I’ve seen how it attracts people from all walks of life, and especially those from the health sector. It is a great way for people to come together and enjoy writing in a therapeutic way.

“We’ve all had to social distance for so long but of course the need to connect with others never leaves us.

“Part of the inspiration for this trail is the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’, which is backed by the NHS. It promotes things like connectivity, staying active and learning – these are all the themes that I’m bringing to the writing trial.”

Over the previous year, Ealing Council’s Future Ealing Fund Crowdfunding Opportunity (FEF) has offered support and match funding to help the recovery of business, neighbourhoods and the local area and has seen a wealth of new community projects.

It is ‘all or nothing’ with the FEF, so Poonam is still looking for support from local people and businesses to reach her funding target of £21,000 by mid-March so it can benefit from a pledge from the council’s fund worth more than £8,000.   

She explained: “Support from the FEF has been a great way of showcasing my project making it easier for people to see what I want to do and I even attended a webinar and got advice about how to get my ideas off the ground.”

“Ealing is a rich cultural hub with so many different things to offer,” Poonam added. “I want to also create something for writers to add to what we have here. I spent much of my childhood in Ealing and I also work in Ealing, so it feels personal.”

Local decisions ‘firmly in the hands of residents’

Councillor Jasbir Anand, cabinet member for thriving communities, said: “Through the FEF, we have made significant funding available for local projects which bring community together, improve our high streets, or create hubs for learning. Local people can also show their support for these community projects too by backing their crowdfunding campaigns.

“Ultimately, it is about helping to put decisions about how we invest in our communities firmly in the hands of residents.

A number of projects have already secured FEF funding and are now up and running and we will continue to support local communities with great ideas wherever possible.”

The Spacehive website has profiles on local projects currently looking for support with full details and information about how to help.

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