Finding words at West London Welcome

For nearly a year now, West London Welcome volunteers Anna Perera and Catherine Davidson have been running a reading and writing club at the centre. In this guest post, they describe their experiences of working with different clients and the ways in which they experiment as a collective while learning the beauty of the English language. 

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Mid-discussion at West London Welcome’s Reading and Writing Club, November 2018.

We work with clients who want to deepen their relationship with English: to read literature, talk about words and practice creative writing. We have around six people who come regularly and more who have dropped in to try it out.

A couple of weeks ago, we decided to go out on a walk near the river to find words. According to Gabriel, in French this is called an “Etude du Milieu”. We walked under the A4 to the mall that runs along the Thames. It was a warm day, and the autumn sunshine lit up the last of the summer flowers. We looked for colours, sounds, actions, something beautiful and something surprising.

The next week, all the words we found became a list. We spent time talking over the language – for example the difference between gather and scatter, and then did some writing.

Elizabeth’s etude captured the movements and moments of our walk so well:

Cars and trucks passing, wheels turning with loud sounds – from moving white grey cloud lines on the river, blue water, boats gliding by, young children and teenagers and a boatman speaking through a megaphone, instructing. Two ladies pushing children’s prams, walking along the screened river wall, and birds – flying above the river.

 

— Anna Perera and Catherine Davidson, West London Welcome Reading and Writing Club Coordinators

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