Big Malarkey Festival to host mental health workshop

Children aged 12 to 16 will have the chance to take part in creative writing workshop to manage mental health at this year’s Big Malarkey Festival in East Park on Saturday 23 June.

As part of the ‘You are not Alone’ campaign, HeadStart Hull will deliver a workshop by young participants and local poet Vicky Foster from 2 to 4pm on the ‘Get on Board’ Blundabus, a special double-decker bus complete with piano and performance stage. The young people hosting the workshop will talk about their own journey in creating their inspirational messages and describe some of the techniques and writing styles they use to help their mental wellbeing.

Children aged 12 to 16 can either take part in the session, share their experiences or just sit and listen, with some opportunities to get their creative juices flowing. It is designed to equip other young people to be able to manage their own mental health and cope with life’s challenges.
Some of the HeadStarter volunteers will also be on stage performing the poems they wrote for the emotive soundscape on Humber Bridge in April. The soundscape will also be available to listen to through headphones along with a short film by Nova Productions.

Councillor Pete Clark, Portfolio Holder for Learning, Skills and Safeguarding Children, said: “Offering a platform to talk about their feelings, stresses, problems and techniques to cope are all extremely important to improving young people’s emotional health and wellbeing across the city.”

This workshop is part of a wider programme of events includes pop up performances by Manchester-based spoken word collective Young Identity, award-winning poet Dominic Berry, Chicken Shop Shakespeare who bring Shakespearean words and scenes to unexpected situations, rising star on the Northern spoken word scene Bradford-born Kirsty Taylor, an expert at blending hip-hop influences and northern realism.

There will also be the chance to take part in a songwriting workshop with writer and performer Michelle Scally Clarke and take a closer look at media manipulation in this age of fake news with author of The Carbon Diaries series Saci Lloy.

For advice and information on young people’s mental health visit