When Mayfield woman Mary Dempster set up a creative writing group five years ago little did she know how important it would be to people.
The Easy Does it group, featuring mostly locals who have suffered from health issues, meets every Tuesday at the Dean Tavern in Newtongrange.
Most of them have suffered mental health problems while others have been severely affected by conditions like Multiple Sclerosis or have suffered a stroke.
The group of 20 includes five wheelchair users and one person that nearly died in a car crash.
The group’s founder Ms Dempster (66), who herself suffered from mental health issues, explained why she started Easy Does It in 2009.
She said: “It’s been going for about five years now.
“I had an accident at work and I ended up on crutches and in a deep depression.
“I was stuck indoors for about nine years. I was in a very, very dark place.
“When I contacted the local area co-ordinator we had a few chats and I just said that there must be hundreds of people like me that have worked all their life and had a simple thing like a fall ruin their life.
“So I suggested a group for people to come together and get out of the house.
“I initially started with a walking group, which is still going today.
“This then progressed to starting the creative group.”