We like to share, to be connected, and to feel like we are part of something bigger.
At three recent storytelling celebration events, I heard and experienced firsthand how story sharing has brought people together and given them a voice.
Set up as a Historypin pilot programme in Newcastle, Leeds and Norfolk , Connections has, over the past two years, been exploring the use of story sharing in helping with social isolation and diversity.
‘Our voices will be heard.’
Story teller Kate Bromwich-Alexandra said that being listened to had been an important part of the workshops. As with a few people I spoke with, the story telling offered an opportunity for people to express themselves and their identity through story.
Printed scrapbooks, photos, stories and maps gave a tangible focus to the celebrations. Along with showcasing the work that had been done, these physical outputs played an important role in engaging participants over the course of the project.
The strength of these workshops though sits with the people who helped run them. Without their warmth and commitment to their communities, none of the success I witnessed would have been possible.
My lasting thoughts are from two performance pieces I watched in Leeds, where the Playhouse Youth Theatre and Heydays teamed up to bring the stories to life. The sharing of these moments between generations was both poignant and moving, leaving me with a sense that, ‘The ordinary is extraordinary’.
If you would like to find out more about the work we are doing, visit us at historypin.org.