I've done a number of workshops over the years and they have varied in content. There have been workshops in schools, prisons, elderly residential homes and workshops for managers. I've been asked to work with groups that have been identified variously as; challenging, gifted and talented, guides and scouts, young offenders, young carers, people with disabilities, with mental health issues, boys only and girls only as well as adult writing groups.
Workshops have included poetry, story, drama, comedy and circus skills. Together we have produced various books, leaflets, films, plays, sketches and one off performances. Performances have been for people as diverse as the Older People's Commissioner for Wales and BBC Children's TV (CBeebies).
In 2016 I was selected as one of CBBC's 'Awesome Authors'.
It also includes performances such as the large scale RCT Special Schools show at the Unity Festival in 2012, where I was invited to work as their artistic director.
There was three years working as the journalist and editor for Communities First in Cardiff developing their newspaper for Butetown, Riverside and Grangetown (BRG) (circulation 3000). Other work with Communities First/Parent Network in the Rhymney Valley has led to a number of picture books being published with parents.
In May 2014 and May 2016 I was invited to perform at the Hay in the Parc Festival (HMP Parc Prison) launching a collection of prisoners poems and stories that came from workshops with many writers:
'Mike gave a very entertaining and powerful performance at Parc' Nigel Gibson, The Open University.
Over the years I have been invited to give a number of lectures and talks. These have included talks to the police on challenging behaviours, life story work with social workers, talks to Headteachers and inset training for teachers on writing/creativity.
In 2016 I was involved in many projects celebrating the Roald Dahl centenary, including a wonderful project at the Merthyr Biscuit Factory that produced an animated biscuit story that you can watch by following this link:
There was also a project with Cardiff City FC, a 'Dads n Lads' group that produced a film poem that was shown on a match day against Leeds United, you can watch the video by following this link https://youtu.be/NJlkJCgLF0g
There are also other films.
You can follow this link and watch 'A Million Choices' a film made with Neath/Port Talbot YOS team in collaboration with film maker Craig Oats A Craig Oats Production on Vimeo and highly praised by Keith Towler, Children's Commissioner. None of the youngsters or workers involved had ever acted before. Also on the site you can watch other films I've made with Craig. One was for Bridgend Young Carers that had enormous impact at a Conference for Carers (also praised by Keith Towler) and another (Silver Hoodies) was an award winning intergenerational project with Merthyr Valleys Homes. There was another project with Merthyr Valleys Homes that won an Arts and Business Award in 2014. You can find further information about it from the following links:
The film about The Last Days Of Maerdy Library was made for Councillors to try and assist their decision making around library closures (I sent it to all 64 RCT Councillors). A further film detailed the struggle for the future of Rhydyfelin Library. I remain a passionate advocate and campaigner for libraries.
I have spoken at an International Conference in Dublin on emotional literacy and was a keynote speaker for the NUT at a National Conference on 'Reading for Pleasure' with Michael Rosen and Alan Gibbons.
I would be happy to discuss with you the needs / outcomes that relate to your group and look forward to working with you.