The Stories From Our Streets project, funded by Arts Council England and BCP, is encouraging BCP residents to share accounts or memories of special people (or animals!) and places in their area for a community ‘Story Map’ – a valuable archive which will allow anyone to click on an area and find out more about its people, places and history.
Since the start of the year, the Stories From Our Streets writing facilitators, Alice Flynn and Emma Scattergood, have been offering free writing workshops and pop-up story stalls across BCP, and reassuring people that no talent or previous experience of writing is required in order to put pen to paper! At the recent Bournemouth Writing Festival, for example, members of the public were tasked with simply writing ‘love notes’ to special people and spaces or space in the area. Even those who were initially a bit nervous, soon discovered just how uplifting and therapeutic it is to put thoughts onto paper and submit them to the map.
Alice and Emma will be continuing to pop up at various places, so follow the Stories From Our Streets page on Facebook or Instagram to keep updated. You can also get involved from the comfort of your armchair and submit your memories or stories by email. By following the links on the Facebook or Instagram page, you can even find a fun activity pack to download, with prompts to get you started. The team would be delighted if whole families wanted to get involved and, maybe, children were encouraged to ‘interview’ their parents or grandparents about their memories of the area. However, they would also like to hear from people who are new to the region, and who may have a story about why they have found themselves living in BCP.
You can drop stories off at any BCP library – just remember to add your postcode or area (e.g. Southbourne), so that they can be added to the Stories From Our Streets story map.
And, for the keen writers, there is also a free writing competition, for short (600 words or less) pieces of non-fiction, celebrating someone or somewhere in BCP, past or present. The winning entry will receive £50 of book vouchers, plus free family tickets for Highcliffe Castle and – of course – The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum!
Finally, if you work with an organisation or group based in BCP that would like to get involved in the project and would benefit from a free writing session, you can contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stories From Our Streets is being led by writing development agency, ArtfulScribe