Steph Boven

Stephanie Boven-Dunlop is one of the newest volunteers at Fighting Words NI, only joining at the start of March, but she’s already taken part in several workshops and has even read stories from our ‘New Worlds’ project on camera.

In her short time with us, Stephanie has been impressed by the creativity and dedication of our staff and her fellow volunteers. A lifelong writer, in particular through the pandemic and lockdowns, she felt that volunteering at Fighting Words NI would be the perfect fit with her skills and values. 

“I wanted to be part of a group that encouraged young people to believe that what they have to say has value. That’s the brilliant thing about Fighting Words, it’s so much more than teaching creative writing, it’s giving these kids confidence to believe in their own stories and imagination.”

Her favourite part of volunteering is the in-person mentoring and she recently worked with a group of girls for whom English was a second (or third!) language. In spite of occasional language barriers she explained they really got involved in the writing during the mentoring process, and Steph learned about some fascinating cultural practices along the way.

“I’d say this has been my favourite moment so far – seeing these girls go from being very reserved to remarkably engaged and full of smiles. For me, that’s the best part.”

A keen open water swimmer in her spare time, Stephanie only discovered her love of the water after taking lessons four years ago.  She has taken part in 750m, 1k and 2k open water swims, nearly always without a wetsuit!

If you’d like to know more about our volunteer programme, which can be as flexible as you need, contact