‘Impressive’: Sandra Ebuwa Idele enjoyed hearing from the authors. Photograph: BSix

Two students at BSix College are to start their own writing collective after spending an inspiring evening with the recently formed Hackney Black Women Writers (HBWW) group.

Sandra Ebuwa Idele and Amun Ahmed last week got the chance to join the group, which launched earlier this year, for a special workshop at the Hackney Museum.

The event was organised by sixth form college BSix, in partnership with the museum, as part of its ‘Knowledge is Power’ (KiP) enrichment programme – one of four extra-curricular clubs on offer for students.

For the KiP series, the college is putting on short courses and workshops designed to broaden students’ understanding of the world, “free from the pressures of examination”.

One of those was an evening with HBWW, whose authors led the youngsters in a series of confidence-building exercises before sharing and discussing their writing.

The event had a profound impact on A-level student Amun, who is studying English literature, film and sociology.

She said: “I was able to breath again. I didn’t have to worry about what I said because writers are known to express themselves.

“I found air my words could breath in. I breathed knowledge and the power of it from every walk of Africa.”

Sandra, who is studying for a BTEC in health and social care, was similarly moved by the experience, saying: “I felt so warm. I felt not lonely any more. This is what has been missing for me.

“I was deep in everything the poets said. I loved listening to the older women. They were impressive and all friendly. The activities made me realise what writing could do for a person.”

The pair have now decided to set up their own writers’ group at college in the hope it will inspire their peers to share their work.

The KiP club is running a number of events and seminars this year on a variety of topics, including Brexit, capitalism, and the history of South Asians in Britain.

HBWW’s next workshop takes place from 6-8pm at Hackney Museum on 11 October.

If you’re interested in joing the group, or would like to find out more, email emma.winch@hackney.gov.uk

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