A children’s charity is calling for volunteers to support and empower young voices through the medium of creative writing.

The Bank of Dreams and Nightmares is Bridport's creative writing charity aimed at children between seven and 18 years old. The team believe in the transformative power of creative writing and run regular workshops in local primary and secondary schools.

During these sessions young people can create their own stories and even see them published in the same week.

It was set up in April 2021 by Nick Goldsmith who, after feeling that his children’s school curriculum lacked innovation, decided to use money from his mother’s inheritance to create an environment where young imaginations lead the way.

The father of two said: “It’s been an amazing, inspiring, and wonderful ride. The main thing is we want to blow children’s minds with the possibilities of what they can achieve. We do that with the creative outcomes of what we do – children become published authors.”

The Bank runs storytelling workshops at primary schools where pupils have two hours to build a story. Illustrations are attributed to their works which are printed and bound into a book.

Children then get to celebrate their creative achievements through their own book launch.

“Every time we have a book launch, the electricity in the room is incredible. We see the confidence and self-belief shine through when they see a published book in their hand.”

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Students from Budmouth Academy holding their published book "Don't Feed The Locals"

Similar workshops take place at local secondary schools in the form of longer projects. For ten weeks, the charity works with 20 selected pupils to create anything from an anthology of short stories to sketch comedies. One such sketch comedy has recently been pitched to the BBC comedy.

By providing these opportunities for young people, Mr Goldsmith hopes this will inspire young children to keep their aspirations high.

“If you’re a fifty-year-old kid and you do something and then it gets on TV, you could blow that kids mind, and their confidence would just rocket.”

Every Thursday term time, young writers are also invited to an after-school club where they can contribute towards a quarterly newspaper called What’s Going On? Each issue includes news articles, reviews and profiles where children have interviewed renowned celebrities including David Walliams and Will Poulter.

Heading into the New Year, Mr Goldsmith is calling for more volunteers to keep fuelling the creative visions of young minds across Bridport.

“It’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. I want to blow kids mind with the possibilities. Every time I’m involved in a workshop my mind is blown by the incredible imagination of children; they take us to these incredible places.”

More information about the charity, including how to volunteer, can be found on their website:  https://www.thebankofdreamsandnightmares.org/take-action