Why authentic storytelling matters

At sounddelivery we are passionate about authentic storytelling and giving a platform for individuals to share their experiences in order to change perceptions of policy makers, media professionals and the wider public.

Welcome to our sounddelivery blog. Here we’ll bring you insights into the power of storytelling and how your organisation whether it be a charity, social enterprise or socially minded business can share your stories to maximise your impact. We will also be hosting guest blogs from industry experts and those with firsthand experience of a range of social issues, we like the term ‘Expert Citizens’ so we’ll use that. At sounddelivery we are passionate about authentic storytelling and giving a platform for individuals to share their experiences in order to change perceptions of policy makers, media professionals and the wider public.

Let me tell you about Sam who is the Director of Support The Youth, a Community Interest Company based in Blackpool set up to support young people up to the age of 25 who are not currently in education, employment or training. Sam’s life path hasn’t been easy. It has included living in care due to a difficult family situation, a short time in prison and when he was finally released a battle juggling finances to keep a young family together. He did this by washing cars from the boot of his car and became a successful businessman.

I met Sam through my storytelling training work. During a workshop as part of a training exercise Sam volunteered to share his story in front of the other delegates. I recorded the audio interview on my mobile phone. Do listen:

Sam’s story is one of strength and determination to succeed and to use his life experiences to make a difference to the community he lives in. He is now dedicated to supporting young people who, like him, might not have had the easiest start in life but with the right support and influencers will thrive.

A few months ago I had a call from Sam. I love hearing from people I’ve worked with to hear their news and how they’re putting into practice the new skills they’ve learnt.

At the end of our conversation he said “without you my story would still be inside” and in that moment I was reminded why I love what I do what I do and why, giving people the confidence to tell their stories is a vital part of my work.

Being the Story

As part of my mission to get people to understand the power of firsthand storytelling I’m curating an event to give a platform to individuals who might not have one. I’m bringing together an incredible line up of 11 speakers, which will include a social entrepreneur, photojournalist, campaigner, with lived experience of everything from poverty to war.

Our speakers include award-winning photojournalist Giles Duley, social entrepreneur and youth advocate Sam Smith, domestic abuse campaigner, Mandy Thomas, author and Parkinson’s ambassador Emma Lawton, Community Campaigner Pastor Lorraine Jones, lawyer and access to justice champion Sue James, poet and theatre maker Brigitte Aphrodite and Hassan, the key storyteller in the BBC documentary Exodus: Our Journey to Europe.

I hope this will inspire charities to give the people they support a voice. I hope that many of you will join me.

Being The Story takes place on Friday 16th September 2016 in London. You can hear Sam and 10 other inspiring speakers share their stories and insights www.beingthestory.org.uk #BeingtheStory

Jude

If you would like to contribute to this blog please do get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.

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