London Dreamtime Story Co-op: Re-enchant the City.

by Vanessa Woolf in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

London Dreamtime Story Co-op: Re-enchant the City.

Total raised £3,610

raised so far



Storytelling is an ancient magical artform with healing power. Let's bring back the joy and regrow grassroots storytelling in London!

by Vanessa Woolf in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 2nd April 2022 we'd raised £3,530 with 100 supporters in 28 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

 New stretch target

Thank you!

 As we go past our base-rate target we will be consulting with wise, experienced storytellers to make the most of these donations to build up the London story eco-system. We are initially thinking about booking well known storytellers to visit the co-operative. But there are other possibilities too. (A buddy system, workshops, shared advertising... or something else!) Watch as we make our co-operative into something that re enchants the city and provides measurable benefit to storytellers in London.

It's been wonderful to be contacted by so many brilliant storytellers and artists who have offered generous support with cash donations and also with a wealth of magical books, cake, art, gifts and services to list as rewards...! We are so grateful.


Oral storytelling is one of the most ancient and powerful art forms in the world. It's also great fun!

In 2019, London had a thriving oral storytelling scene with clubs, cafes, events and collectives. Now Covid restrictions have lifted, London's many diverse storytellers are ready to bring enchantment, wonder, connection and community back in real life.  But the pandemic left a heavy legacy of problems. Help us overcome them and regrow grassroots storytelling.


The problems...

  • Almost all regular storytelling clubs are 'paused', closed or moved online.
  • Live venues have closed or are more expensive to hire. 
  • Many people still need reassurance about attending live events
  • Performer, audience or crew may have to cancel at the last minute.
  • Listings magazines (like Time Out) have changed so it's harder to get listed and seen.
  • Storytellers, artists and audiences are tired, stressed and often under financial pressure.

We have never needed the healing power and magic of stories more!

Our dream:

 The Story Co-Operative. A generous event with telling, learning and being enchanted by stories which is 100% FREE to attend. A RELIABLE Sunday afternoon space. A HUB for storytelling in London, and a model for similar spaces in the city and across the UK.

Who benefits?

A city which is longing for beauty, connection and magic!

  • Storytellers looking to build their audience, learn new tales, improve their skills. 
  • Listeners who want to hear different voices and stories, find out about world folklore, meet and network or just bathe in the enchanted waters.


  • We will nurture grassroots audiences for storytelling across London
  • Encourage story-lovers to explore and experience more.
  • Promote every London storytelling event, show, book launch, exhibition, course and club we can find
  • Grow our city's storytelling ecosystem so that it's stronger in a years time
  • Create a stable dependable hub.


more about the practicialities of the project below, but before we go any further we would like to tell you about the BADGES, BOOKS, STORIES, COACHING, CAKE and ART which have been generously donated by our supporters. Here's just a tiny selection of photos:









A once-a-month event. 

Open mic performance with a mix of experienced and beginner storytellers, plus...

Informal coaching, networking, a £2 bookshop, news and announcements. 

We hope to showcase (and pay) a diverse array of professional storytellers to perform longer sets.

  • REGULAR for a whole year. With rules and plans changing all the time we need an event which will be dependable.
  • SOCIABLE, welcoming and a good laugh. 
  • DIVERSE as the city is diverse.
  • FREE at the point of delivery (like the NHS!) People's mental health and earning capacity has been affected by the last two years. We don't want cost to be a barrier. 


The facilitator will be Vanessa Woolf a very experienced storyteller and story promoter.

Where is it?

The beautiful hall above the Electric Elephant Cafe SE17 in Elephant and Castle zone 1. 

How we will spend your donation:

The money will pay a base-rate for the venue and for an organiser to plan, host and promote the event for 12 months giving us the support we need to be a springboard for storytelling in London.

Any donations above our target would: 

  • Help us continue for longer than a year meaning more stability.
  • Pay guest storytellers to bring their magic and showcase the diverse styles and cultures within the storytelling world
  • Buy technical support to create a live audio broadcast so people can experience our stories across the UK (leading to more accessibility).

Feedback from our similar events in 2021:

"A truly magical evening of telling.  My first trip out for a live event in well over a year.  Four tellers performing with their own unique style, and in perfect compliment with each other.  Just what the doctor ordered.  More please!!”  Andy Grazebrook (audience)

"I had such a wonderful evening. I’d forgotten how magical it is listening to stories outside. It was restorative for me, calming, healing. I’m not just saying that, it really struck me at the time how healing storytelling is. A truly wonderful experience" Hannah Need (professional storyteller)

London's storytelling eco-system needs a boost, help us make it happen!



*Accessibility is very important to us. The cafe has a disabled toilet in Pullens yards, (a few metres from the cafe) and there is a ramp and access to the downstairs where the stories will be on a live feed. We are looking at another nearby space too and are consulting with people who have disabilities. We are keen to apply any adjustments we can to makinge the venue more accessible and we welcome your ideas. 


This project offered rewards

£2 or more


Thank you! Your contribution will bring joy, make a difference and will be VERY much appreciated, we will send you lots of love and good vibes back!

£9 or more

"Story Songs" Children's Album from Beanstalk Arts

Generously donated by Becky Dixon, storyteller with Beanstalk Arts! Kids can join in with Boris the Bird's popular story songs including "Big Bad Wolf" and "It's a Drag being a Dragon" CD or download- or both! Find out more here

£10 or more

Travellers Tales Romany Culture Book

Generously donated and personally signed copy of a beautifully illustrated "Travellers Tales" softback childrens book, drawn from Romany language, life and culture. It will be inscribed to a name of your choice by author and storyteller Richard O'Neill. Choose from the options here Your supporter name will also be added to our electronic and paper programme every month!

£11 or more

The best Cake

Thank you for your loving support of storytelling in London! Generously donated by our hosts, Electric Elephant Cafe in Crampton Street SE17, you can walk up and claim TWO amazing and delicious hand made chocolate and guinness cakes. Please note this reward will not be sent out and must be claimed in person at the cafe. You do not have to have them both at once :) Your supporter name will also be thanked on our programme for every month

£12 or more

Sparkling Mermaid

You are helping London's storytellers to swim in an ocean of stories together, support each other and build community. Bask in the vibes while listening to a specially curated playlist full of magic, folklore and good energy. You willl also get an excellent and unique mermaid button badge. Your chosen supporter name will also go on the programme for every month. This will be sent out electronically as well as printed and handed out in person.

£15 or more

Ghost at the fireplace

To thank you for your eternal support of storytellers, we will send you a thank you package which includes a stunning colour art print of a ghost by the fireplace generously donated by the artist Lynne Hood. (To see the artwork, check the main project page.) You will also get a story to go with the artwork, a thank you card, some chocolate and a ghost-design lapel badge! Your supporter name will also go on the programme for every month.

£16 or more

I'm Hans Christian Anderson by Rachel Rose Reid

Claim your signed copy of "I'm Hans Christian Anderson" by Rachel Rose Reid, generously donated by the author. Published by Burning Eye Books. A lyrical re-examination of the famous storyteller and his works. "'mesmerising, nourishing and good for your heart and soul."(Salena Godden) You will also get the link for a magical folklore themed playlist and your name will be thanked in our monthly programme.

£25 or more

Beautiful Bee

Generously donated by Pyn Stockman. Immerse yourself in the folklore-soaked world of 'The Bee Charmer.' A boy with an extraordinary gift. Blessed by bees, shunned by humans and in search of a place to belong. You will get a link to listen to a stunning newly commissioned audio story by Pyn with immersive sound design by @marcnarrative You will also get to bask in a folklore themed playlist & be thanked on our monthly programme!

£26 or more

Moon and Stars

Thank you for bringing starlight to our city and our community. You will get a special package posted to your home containing a hand printed thank you card, chocolate and a beautiful unique fabric badge with a moon and stars design and the word "storyteller." You will also be thanked on our electronic and paper online programme every month.

£30 or more

Black Cat and Fox

Your generosity will foster mutual support and encouragement in the storytelling community! Celebrate with this beautiful limited edition signed "Midnight Chase" lino print of a black cat and fox chasing each other in an urban night street. Kindly donated by artist Marianna Zoumpliou. This comes in a package with a story by Vanessa, a thank you card, some chocolate and an unique fox badge.

£38 or more

Medieval Masterclass

Stories root us in the past and reach towards the future. Claim this 45 minute zoom session generously donated by Clare Goodall. Clare is a brilliant storyteller & musician who specialises in Medieval stories & music. Ask questions, discover fascinating details about medieval lives, instruments and stories -and enjoy practical demonstrations! Your supporter name will also be added to our monthly programme

£38 or more

Re-enchantment surprise

To thank you for your amazing support, we will post you a package of goodies to enchant your day, This will be lovingly put together by Vanessa and will include some folk / fairytale books, badges, a magic-soaked playlist and some fantastic surprises which we promise will enrich your life without taking up too much space in your house!

£40 or more

One Minute Myth

Generously gifted by excellent storyteller Laura Sampson, you will get a "one-minute myth" tale of your choice (or hers if you prefer!) in the style of her Instagram series @theotherlaurasampson Your recording will be dedicated with a message and name of your choice & sent to you in a file. You will also get a thank you card & a cute mermaid badge. Your supporter name will also go on the programme for every month.

£40 or more

Honour Nature

Honour nature with your storytelling! This 40-minute zoom workshop gifted by acclaimed storyteller Lisa Schneidau is about ‘rewilding storytelling’. It's for beginner / improvers, inspiring you to think about many different ways to honour nature and the non-human in your stories. (The workshop will be tailored to your level of experience.) Find out more about Lisa here

£50 or more

Haunted footstep

Your support is like a breath of daylight in a musty old mausolea! To say thank you we will send you a hand made thank you card with a haunted design. Inside is a token for a PAIR of tickets to ANY London Dreamtime Ghost Exploration PLUS a spooky audio story. (If you choose casette, your story will be enclosed, if you prefer MP3, this will be sent by email, or you can have both.) We will also credit you on our programme every month.

£100 or more

Baba Yaga

You are among the most powerful of our supporters! As well as huge thank you on our monthly programme, we will also record a bespoke tailored video or audio story for you or your family or friends. Let us know the occasion and audience! Meanwhile, you can get lost in the woods with us too- we will send you four free tickets to use on any outdoor London Dreamtime event of your choice.

£1,000 or more

Jade Emperor

For this, the heavenly king of rewards, Vanessa from London Dreamtime will come and visit you in person (or meet online) and you can choose a days worth of story consultation, advice, writing and/or performance for a project or organisation of your choice.

£10 or more

Two tickets to see some Storytelling!

Generously gifted by brilliant storyteller Niall Moorjani, two tickets for Wed 13 April to see their Scottish International Storytelling Festival hit show 'Mohan: A Partition Story' in Whitechapel E1 before it goes on tour for the summer. 'first person telling from “Mohan’s” perspective the performance is moving, visceral, emotive and at times hilarious.' You will also be thanked in our monthly programme.

£11 or more

Woodland/ River Folktale Books by Lisa Schneidau

Choose one of Lisa Scheidau's gorgeous, acclaimed nature themed folktale collections, published by the History Press. Choose one of "Botanical Folk Tales of Britain & Ireland" ,"Woodland Folk Tales of Britain & Ireland" OR upcoming "River Folk Tales of Britain & Ireland" (out in June!) Generously donated and inscribed to you by Lisa. Your name will also be added to our monthly programme!

£13 or more

A dose of hope!

Generously donated by storyteller, author and champion of kindness, Bernadette Russell. Get your hands on a personally inscribed copy of her latest book, "How to Be Hopeful" a practical handbook full of warm words and playful ideas- the perfect inspiration for our hopeful project! You will also be sent a card (handmade by Bernadette) and some seeds to plant. Your name will also be thanked on our monthly programme.

£17 or more

An Adventure in Nature

Dive into beautiful book "Adventures in Nature" generously donated by storyteller & author Dawn Nelson. A mixture of original stories & traditional tales full of ideas for for families to connect with the earth. Her book follows the Wheel Of The Year, focusing on tales that bring us closer to the natural world, simple craft projects, activities & mindful moments. Your name will also go on our programme for every month!

£18 or more

Five Colour Dog

Dogs make the world a bit brighter- and you have made our world a bit brighter too! To say thank you, "Five Colour Dog" is galloping your way! Hard-to-find fully illustrated hardback in Mandarin and English by Xue Lin. Authenticaly told legend of P'an Hu the Dog who rescues a princess and founds a nation in Southern China. Package includes a card & a cute dog woodcut badge. You will also be thanked on our electronic & paper programme every month.

£18 or more

Magic Spider

Thank you for helping storytellers to weave their words! You will recieve a rare colourful hardback BOOK illustrated with beautiful Polish paper cuts. Includes script for folktale "The Christmas Spider" & "other traditional games, crafts and activities". By L Holz illustrated by C Mikolaycak. This package comes with a thank you card, chocolate and a cute spider lapel badge! Your supporter name will also go on the programme for every month.

£22 or more


Thank you so much for helping storytellers find their way through the trees! As a thank you we will send a beautiful first edition hardback of Anthony Browne's 2004 classic "Into the Forest". Your reward also comes with a thank you card, chocolate and a cute lapel badge featuring a blockprint tree design. Your name will also be thanked on our supporter programme every month.

£28 or more

Amber Sea

You are helping storytellers set sail on a sea of stories! As well as a monthly credit on our programme and a thank you card, you will get a rare and beautiful out of print hardback BOOK packed with Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian folk tales: "Tales of the Amber Sea" compiled by Irina Zheleznova. This package comes with chocolate and a mermaid button badge!

£80 or more

A Voice lesson with Giles Abbott

Get your ears on a one-to-one zoom Voice lesson with Giles Abbott! Make your voice clearer, stronger, more expressive, more resonant. Giles is an expert instructor, having taught Voice in various well known Drama Schools and Universities alongside his storytelling career since gaining his Masters in Voice in 2005. Find out more

£99 or more

One to One coaching with Debs Newbold

Get an invaluable hour long zoom story-coaching session. Generously donated by master storyteller Debs Newbold, multi award winning artist (& storytelling & education consultant for Shakespeare’s Globe.) * * Get invaluable hints, direction and focus with a section of your own performance... and support our wider storytelling community too!

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