Our first Being The Story events ware held in 2016 and 2017. You can watch all of the powerful talks from the day here.
Documenting The Legacy of War
Giles Duley spoke about the ability photography can have to transform lives. Recounting how a small gift changed his own life and how that led to his work documenting the refugee crisis in Lebanon for the UNHCR. Duley tells the stories of normal families caught up in the horrors of the Syrian civil war, and his belief that each act, no matter how small, can create positive change.
Turning Pain into Power through the Power of Love
What do you do when you’re faced with life changing challenges which invade your quality of life, environment and community? In a society where regeneration is implemented but it seems that only the structures and systems have changed. The People that count have been further disempowered the impact of youth violence has risen causing more pain in the community. In her talk Lorraine shared her quest of how she turns Pain into Power through the Power of Love.
My Journey to Europe
Hassan shared his experience of turning the camera on himself to record this life-risking journey that thousands of refugees have made. Now living in London, he reflected on how his journey and resettlement have impacted upon him. He has provided a voice for many unheard refugee stories and he discussed the implications of this.
Telling my story to help others share theirs
Mandy shared her personal story of being in an abusive relationship and how this led her to campaign about domestic abuse. Through sharing her experiences, Mandy wants to raise awareness and increase understanding of domestic abuse.
Building on our experience to change the future
Andiamo recounted their journey so far; how their difficult personal experience spurred them on to advance this technology to ensure that no child anywhere in the world has to wait more than a week for their orthotics device. They drive forward through empathy, designed around the child and their family’s life and want to bring their social tech to as many families as possible.
My Beautiful Black Dog
Brigitte explored how performance can be used in mental health education and will be performing a selection of songs and poems from her critically acclaimed ‘My Beautiful Black Dog’ which tackles the complexity of our mental health and challenges the stigma that surrounds depression – but it’s not depressing – it’s joyous, funny and hopeful. Brigitte has performed at Reading and Leeds Festivals, Latitude, Bestival and sold out runs at the South Bank WOW festival and Hackney Showroom.
Dropping the P Bomb
Emma shared her personal story of how being diagnosed with Parkinson’s at a young age changed her view of the condition. She discussed why she is trying to raise awareness of Parkinson’s so that more young people realise it can affect them too. Through her social media campaigning, Emma has done so much to raise the profile of this condition and we heard what Being the Story has meant to her.
Re-writing the Labels that Hold Us Back
Sam shared his own personal story of how he overcame barriers from his tough background and rejected the labels given to him to become a successful social entrepreneur. He challenged us to help support and empower future generations and give them the confidence to choose their own identity.
Why Jodie is Fighting for Equal Opportunities
Disabled people are four times as likely to be unemployed as the non-disabled. Many are not being given the opportunity to show what they have to offer facing barriers to finding employment. Jodie knows this from personal experience, she overcame these challenges and is now taking a stand to ensure young people with disabilities are given more equal employment opportunities. She won’t be stifled by systems; she reaches out directly to chief executives to bring about change for other young people like her.
A Mile In My Shoes
A Mile in My Shoes is an interactive shoe shop where visitors are invited to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes – literally. This exhibit holds a diverse collection of shoes and audio stories that explore our shared humanity. From a sewage worker to a sex worker, a war veteran to a prison psychiatrist, visitors are invited to walk a mile in the shoes of a stranger whilst listening to their story, taking a physical and emotional journey. They collect new stories and shoes at each location that they exhibit, and brought a selection of stories and shoes to Conway Hall in 2016.
The Power of Stories to Make the Invisible Visible
Sue’s mantra to “find the story and give the client a voice” guides her work. At Being The Story 2016 she described what her “normal” looks like. Sue shared her belief that in order to find solutions for people, it’s important to know their stories. By finding someone’s story, Sue believes you can properly advocate on their behalf and ensure they get access to justice. She also set a challenge to those in positions of power, including the media, who can influence change to do more to put a spotlight on what is happening to some of the most vulnerable in our society.
Singing together against isolation
Micro Rainbow International’s Interfaith Choir performed at Being the Story 2016. Formed just two years previously as a creative tool to combat isolation and heal trauma – their priority was to have fun – singing was secondary. But they have gone from strength to strength and are now 30 strong. They have performed at the opening of the new TATE Modern building, the Royal Festival Hall with Guy Garvey and the UK Black Pride.
Sharing our Stories to the Streets and Back
Amanda is represented a group of twelve women supported by the Lighthouse Project who came together to form a collective and share their experiences. They have all been involved in street prostitution in Hull and their recently published book An Untold Story tells the stories of their lives through poetry, interviews, prose and artwork. In her talk Amanda tells her story in her own way and in her own words to shatter the stigma and create understanding for women with similar experiences who face neglect and marginalisation.
A Snapshot of My Life
Eddie is passionate about the importance of meaningful activity in helping people in recovery. He feels that this has been the key factor in helping him remain sober and allowing him to contribute to society through volunteering. In his talk Eddie shares his experiences and highlights the importance of accessing opportunities to help others in a similar position to him. Liverpool Waves of Hope have been funded by the Big Lottery Fund as part of the Fulfilling Lives Programme. The Big Lottery Fund is a Being the Story Partner.
Slamming it at the Frontline
It started with a couple of lightly lyrical blog posts about support work but progressed from prose to performance poetry slams. Now Bryony uses her words to give voice to the subtle and sensitive stories she is part of through her work. In this talk she shares her insights as a frontline worker and also shows that frontline workers supporting individuals experiencing homelessness, mental ill-health substance misuse and offending behaviour need the space to create. Bryony took part in the Systems Changers programme for frontline workers run by Lankelly Chase. Lankelly Chase is a Being the Story Partner.
Dats TV Reshaping Culture
Simeon and Dylan share their journeys growing up as part of rival gangs, and the impact of participating in the film One Mile Away had on both them and their community. Spurred on to work together to create change, they share their vision of how we can best tackle gang culture and youth violence and provide young people with an alternative.
No Action Too Small
Too often, whilst watching wars unfold, hearing of refugees dying out at sea or reading of yet another abuse, rape or murder, the words “What can I do?” escape our lips. But what we all too often forget is the ripple effects that a single action launched with a simple intention can yield. Using her own experiences in seeing this particular truth unfold, Onjali relates her story on the creation and unexpected journeys Making Herstory continues to lead her on, and why there is no such thing as an action too small.
The Restorative Power of Storytelling
Identifying and sharing real life stories of transformation is The Forgiveness Project’s key tool for change. Marina looks at how we can share stories that reach across rifts and create a new story. www.theforgivenessproject.com
The Geezer’s Guide to Growing Old
Life begins at 70, that’s what Chief Geezer Ray says. People just don’t want to have a talking club. They want to be talking about doing something and then getting on with it. The Geezers want to change the way we see ageing, bringing older men together for fun and joking, social gatherings and to create real change in their area. Ray, Don, Ricky and Charlie share how things are done The Geezer way, as they continue to win awards, and connect communities with their imaginative approach to ageing.
Patient’s Virtual Guide: filling the hospital information vacuum
As MD of Corporation Pop, a digital innovation agency, Dom wanted to use his professional skills to address the problem and so his company is building the world’s first healthcare app to use augmented reality, gamification and artificial intelligence to deliver health information directly to children. With the support of Nominet Trust funding, Dom is creating Patient’s Virtual Guide to reduce the stress and anxiety associated with hospitalization and improve the health literacy of children.
More Beer, More Jobs – a Brewery with a Difference
Nick O’Shea is the Founder of Ignition Brewery. Ignition is a vibrant, south London brewery which employs and trains people with learning disabilities to brew great beer.
The ethos at Ignition Brewery is simple: The team have a lot to offer and with the right support and care, they can make beer that competes on the open market and satisfies the thirst of any customer!
The journey to deliver this in practice has been complex: trying to convince the social care sector to support the development of the company, whilst creating beers that can survive in the London Market has been tricky and required more resilience and ‘bloody-mindedness’ than Nick ever thought would be needed.
Nick shared what it takes to have a new idea and implement it. How to maintain composure and hope, whilst resisting a fridge full of beer.
Nick has been supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Ideas and Pioneers Fund. Paul Hamlyn Foundation were a Being the Story Partner
Creativity For Change
At Being the Story Ric demonstrated how rap and performance can be used to tell stories of the care system and to create positive change for those who have and are experiencing it.
Power at the Periphery – Where are our Working Class Leaders?
What happens when we don’t consult working class people on issues that affect them? How often do we lock out ‘authentic’ voices from conversations? Why did 19 Prime Ministers come from Eton and 0 come from a council estate in Manchester? Rachael discussed the complex class relationship we have in the U.K. She used her personal insights to challenge the stigma that surrounds working class communities, with a hope to shift the perceptions of young people and instil hope in a future generation.
Rachael has been supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Ideas and Pioneers Fund. Paul Hamlyn Foundation were a Being the Story Partner.
The Missing People Choir ‘Turning pain into hope’
Made up of friends and families who have had someone they love go missing, The Missing People Choir sing alongside staff and supporters from the UK charity Missing People. The choir, formed in June 2014, is a partnership between the charity, Missing People, which offers help and support when someone disappears, and James Hawkins Music, specialists in producing music with purpose. The choir will take the stage at Being the Story to share their message through music.