We are a community group in Somerset committed to supporting people who have difficulties with communication, helping them to get their voice heard within the community.
We use both personal and traditional stories to develop social inclusion. Our mission is to enrich the lives of people with learning and communication difficulties, and those who live and work with them, through the use of narrative and story; building relationships, sharing experiences, developing a sense of identity and helping people find their place in society.
We are a small limited company, registered charity and social enterprise. We are managed by a board of trustees and run with learning disabled staff and trustees.
Stories are important. They nourish our imagination, fill our dreams, entertain and inspire us. We use stories every day of our lives - every time we see friends, visit the doctor, return something we have bought, explain key facts to employers, teachers, social workers and ticket collectors. Stories are the way we make sense of what has happened and so they are critical to our sense of who we are. Our identities consist in the stories we tell ourselves and others.
People with learning disabilities may find it hard to tell and recall stories:
- because of learning and communication difficulties
- because some people do not need help to tell everyday stories and anecdotes
- because other people don't take the time to listen
- because some stories are too painful to tell
Openstorytellers seeks to remove these barriers and give people the skills to share all sorts of stories: myths, legends, folktales and personal experiences, so they can be heard, understood and have choices in life.
Why are we crowdfunding?
We are crowdfunding to raise funds for our group to experience an exclusive workshop with professional storytellers, The Devil’s Violin.
The Devil’s Violin combines the traditional medium of storytelling with live music, creating unique performances to keep storytelling fresh and interesting. It will be an exciting experience for our group, allowing them to gain new skills and boost their confidence.
A percentage of the funding for the workshop has already been provided by the Arts Council of England and Wales, however we must find a way to cover the remaining costs. £350 will allow us to cover the remaining cost of the workshop as well as additional costs in enabling the group to attend.
"Telling my story, and listening to other peoples stories, makes me feel happy and gives me a sparkle. Stories teach us things and help us with everyday life.” - Katie, Trainee Information Officer & Storyteller
"I think that everyone in the world has a story or we would be under a dark cloud. Sometimes people have a good story and sometimes something got in their way like bullying, politics, anti-social behaviour or unhappy relationships. We sort out problems in stories and this can help us." - Robin, Trainee Illustrator & Storyteller
"Just like to say, I think the storytelling project is great. It's amazing to see and hear how service users have developed in confidence and skills." - a Staff Member
Thank you for taking the time to read about Openstorytellers. As a small charity, your pledge makes a real difference to our group. The members of the group are excited to write a thank you letter to everyone who would like one.
In addition, we are happy to be able to offer the following rewards:
£5 - A personal thank you letter from Openstorytellers.
£10 - A personal thank you letter from Openstorytellers.
£25 – A card from Openstorytellers, designed by the team.
£50 – An Openstorytellers art print designed by the Openstorytellers team.
£100 – A t-shirt designed by the Openstorytellers team.
£500 – Credited on our website as a supporter (in line with our ethical policy)
If you are not able to make a monetary contribution but are interested in volunteering your time, we would be delighted to hear from you. Just email [email protected].
What will the money be spent on?
The money will cover the cost of the workshop as well as to travel and subsistence costs to allow the group to attend.
Who will attend the workshop?
Members of the Openstorytellers storytelling group.
How will this specific workshop benefit the group attendees?
Our storytelling group will be able to learn from professionals who use both the spoken word and musical elements to tell a tale. This is a fantastic opportunity for them to further increase their confidence and learn new skills for communicating and performing.