The Stories of Care creative writing project gave young care-experienced people the opportunity to get creative and engage in the history of foundlings and their stories. It ran as part of Coram’s Voices Through Time: The Story of Care programme, made possible by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, across seven sessions between January and March 2023.
During the project, participants were invited to Coram to hear stories about foundlings who lived in the Foundling Hospital in the 18th and 19th centuries. They responded with their own creative writing, using historical fiction to fill in gaps in the archive records. The workshops were facilitated by theatre writer and director Brian Mullin, and the Voices Through Time (VTT) Youth Engagement Coordinator, Mikey Lynam.
Over the course of the project, the young people engaged in a mixture of fun activities and writing exercises to bring the foundling stories alive and to feel comfortable with creative writing. They heard a talk from social historian Carol Harris and looked at original billet books, tokens and petition letters during a tour of the Foundling Hospital archive at the London Metropolitan Archives.
Participants produced their creative writing responses in a diverse range of voices, forms and styles and read their work out during a celebration event at Coram on 9 March. You can read the responses and watch some of their readings from each link below.
- Eleanor’s Story by Sophie
- The Foundling Hospital by John
- My Friend Margaret by Jo
- £200 of Shop Goods by Jay
- Dreaming by Helal
- Mercy Draper and Foreigner by BCT
- My Adventure by AC
- Poem I, Charity Child and Story in Life of John Bowles by AFK
- Token by RL
Image credit: Admission Certificate for Ann Watson – 3 June 1778