WRITING coach Cat Lumb has become the first person to benefit from the newly launched Community Grant Fund which has been established in celebration of Stalybridge's status as Greater Manchester Town of Culture.
Her "Take Note: A Day in the Life of Stalybridge" is a community project that encourages the town's residents to slow down and take notice of their local environment and share their varied experiences through creative writing.
Using techniques linked with mindfulness and writing for wellbeing, Cat will support residents in developing their literary skills to capture a moment of their lives in various locations.
Participants will have access to two workshops. The first will assist in developing their descriptive writing skills and provide tools to help them tune into their environment so they can record their encounters in community spaces around town.
The second is focused on editing and refining their stories, examining the detail and feeling of the places they have described to communicate the essence of their moment to readers.
A selection of these pieces will form part of a free downloadable digital resource allowing anyone who lives in or visits Stalybridge to gain a vivid glimpse of what it is like to live, play or work in the town.
Cat, who lives in Stalybridge, rediscovered her ambition of being an author when diagnosed with ME and fibromyalgia more than 10 years ago. Her debut novel, "In Lies we Trust" was published last year and reached no 16 in the Amazon Kindle Bestseller charts for spy thrillers. Her next book is due out in June.
Cllr Leanne Feeley, Tameside Council's executive member for education and achievement, said: "I have often spoken of my belief in the power of the written word to empower and inspire us, so I'm delighted to hear Cat is the first recipient of a Town of Culture community grant.
"As a resident of Stalybridge I'll be very interested to see her project when it is completed and to learn people's feeling about the town and the experiences it offers."
Stalybridge community groups are invited to apply for grants of up to £500 to assist with events, activities and projects that link to the slowdown theme, and must engage people beyond their existing membership networks.
The funds can be used to cover the purchase of speakers, arts/crafts, running workshops, developing a play or a film, or any other reasonable costs for holding an activity or event.