Life Stories - helping people share their experience

Since 2016 we’ve been working creatively with people going through a period of crisis, helping them tell their story and communicate what they’re going through. Finding a creative way to express what's happening in your life and sharing it with others can be hugely therapeutic.

Recent funding from York CVS’ Ways to Wellbeing Small Grants Scheme has helped us to develop the Life Stories project this Autumn. We’re working on a 1-to-1 basis with people across York, helping them to tell their story.

For some people, this involves putting together aural or written memories with photographs and archive footage, documenting their life or that of a loved one. For others, visuals or music helps them express their feelings and emotions. We’re able to offer a range of art forms that can be tailored to suit the person we’re working with.

Many people going through crisis are unable to take part in regular community activities. Large groups can be overwhelming when dealing with a recent life event. Or a person might be housebound and unable to access activities outside of the home. The ability to take part in activities like Life Stories can make a huge difference to someone’s wellbeing.

People come to the project through a referral from one of our partner networks e.g. the Ways to Wellbeing team or Local Area Coordinators. They’re then paired with one of our facilitators, who supports them to explore creative ways of communicating their experiences, thoughts and feelings.

The project has been hugely popular and we’re already working with a wide range of people, including those experiencing bereavement or mental ill-health, and others coming to terms with a recent diagnosis of dementia or autism.

We’d like to say a big thank you to Ways to Wellbeing Small Grants for supporting this work. If you’d like to find out more about Life Stories, please visit this page. You can also watch some of the Life Stories films on our YouTube channel.