A new project to record and preserve the personal stories of people in Newcastle is being launched.
The Story Box, created by North East based Curiosity Creative, will collect personal stories from hundreds of people in Newcastle. The stories will be brought together in an online archive and kept for future generations to listen to, capturing a slice of the city’s history.
Alex Henry, Founder of Curiosity Creative, said: “We’ll be asking people to make short digital stories based on an object that’s special to them. It might be something that’s been handed down through their family, an item they’ve kept that reminds them of an important event, or a special gift.
“These personal stories will be collected and will give us a unique record of life today for people in Newcastle.”
Alex will be working with five partner organisations to help gather people’s stories: Tyneside Women’s Health, Newcastle Youth Offending Team, The Grange Day Centre, Launchpad, and Crisis Skylight Newcastle.
Members of the community will be helped to record their own digital story using photographs and sound recordings.
Elaine Slater Interim Chief Executive of Tyneside Women’s Health, said: “The Story Box will not only give people a chance to have their voices heard but it means that they will be a part of the city’s history for years to come – people’s personal stories are just as important as major events and it’s fantastic that we have this chance to record them.”
Michele Wright, Day Centre Manager, Grange Day Centre, said: “We are delighted to be involved with The Story Box Project. We have participated in a previous Digital Storytelling project with Curiosity Creative and found that participants, apart from having a great deal of fun, experienced increased feelings of self-worth and confidence which greatly improved their sense of wellbeing and quality of life. We are looking forward to this one with excited anticipation.”
Alisdair Cameron, Team Leader at Launchpad, which works with mental health service users in Newcastle, said: “Launchpad, together with the Recovery College and Mental Health Collective, are delighted to be working again with Curiosity Creative. The Story Box is an exciting, off-beat way for overlooked communities to get our stories out into public spaces and to let service users speak of our experiences to a wider audience.”
The Story Box project is funded by the Newcastle Cultural Investment Fund, a grant programme for independent culturalorganisations working in the Newcastle City Council area, run as a partnership between Newcastle City Council and the Community Foundation.
As well as capturing personal stories, the project aims to equip people with new skills in using digital technology.
The resulting digital stories will be screened at events throughout Newcastle, including in a special one-person cinema, which will be created using an original red telephone box.
Curiosity Creative is a social enterprise company which specialises in helping people to create personal digital stories using images, photographs and sound recordings. It has established an online archive where stories made by people in the North East can be accessed, at www.curiositycreative.org.uk.