About us

About us

The Health & Resilience Project is run by researchers Laura Warner and Robin Jakob from the University of Exeter in partnership with Exeter City of Literature, Literature Works, Honeyscribe, and the Resilient Women Project at CoLab Exeter.

The project was created to make spaces in which women and non-binary people can share their experiences of illness, wellness, difficult times, and resilience. One of these spaces is this online scrapbook. You can find out about the scrapbook here.

An illustration of 3 happy women having a chat and coffee around a wooden table
An illustration of a hand holding freshly cut flowers

Our ‘Virtual Scrapbook’ is just one part of The Health & Resilience Project. In Autumn 2022 we held a range of collaborative events in spaces around Exeter and online. These events brought together artists, poets, poetry fans, established writers, and new writers. Here are some of the things we have been doing:

In October, we held a free public reading event as part of Literature Works’s Quay Words programme. Poet and performer Kat Lyons shared extracts from their show about menopause, Dry Season, while poet Fiona Benson read poetry on themes including childbirth, pregnancy loss, and malaria. This was followed by questions from the audience. It was a fascinating, thought-provoking, and wonderfully entertaining evening. We were delighted to welcome a full audience, and Kat and Fiona were delighted to have the opportunity to read together. This event was held at Custom House for those who could join us in person, and online.

A second free-to-join public event with Quay Words was held in November, online and at Custom House. Poet and performer Harula Ladd led the hybrid ‘Poetry for Wellbeing’ workshop, where we spent the afternoon writing and sharing poetry. These workshops were led by Harula Ladd and artist Amy Shelton of Honeyscribe. The workshop involved using writing prompts, pressed flowers, and floriography to create personal and collaborative pieces of artwork.

What is 'Floriography'?

Floriography is the language of flowers and has been practised for thousands of years across different cultures. All flowers hold different meanings, often based on the type of flower, or the colour of the flower, or both. Floriography is the art of communicating through different flower types.

On 8th December, we hosted a hybrid seminar called Creative Expressions of Pain, Health, and Resilience. We welcomed speakers Hannah Hodgson, poet and activist; Marie Clancy, senior lecturer in nursing at the University of Exeter; and Heather Holcroft-Pinn from Literature Works. The speakers reflected on the importance of creative spaces for exploring the health and wellbeing experiences of women and gender non-binary people. We chose to hold this seminar to coincide with UN Women’s 16 days of activism to end gender-based violence.