Once upon a time… drop-in story telling on the high street

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Once upon a time… drop-in story telling on the high street

A Stalled Spaces Scotland project supported by Fife Council.

On 22nd August 2015 a storytelling tent pitched up at the former Co-op site in Dunfermline High Street. It was a Saturday Story Session organised by Suit and Pace aimed at bringing life to a stalled town centre space.

Beth Hamilton Cardus who helped organise the event said

Children and their families were able to pop in throughout the day for stories and songs, and we were really pleased to have twenty-three visitors throughout the day. Our aim was to encourage a positive sense of community, using stories focussed on friendship.

The group hoped that using stories would help create a community spirit and getting children involved in the story telling to retain a great sense of fun.

Our sessions are fun and interactive, so we were aiming to get the children’s imaginations going too. I feel we were successful in this, and we enjoyed bringing our storytelling session to Dunfermline for the first time.

Beth explained how the first session came about

We heard about the Stalled Spaces Scotland project and, as we’re always keen to do performances in unconventional spaces, got in touch with them and – with their input – decided on the space we’d use. We’d done a similar storytelling project in Kirkcaldy and so were keen to go into another area.

Beth noted that

drop-in storytelling can be quite hit and miss, but once we got our momentum going, families were happy to engage. I think we’d potentially run sessions over a couple of weeks in the future, just so people get used to seeing the tent and hopefully come back for more stories!

What do you think are the most positive and the most challenging aspects of the project to date?

We’ve had great support from our local Stalled Spaces Scotland team with getting everything set up. We also really enjoyed bringing our storytelling to Dunfermline and doing it in a tent for the first time was great. The main challenges were rain and learning to put up the tent – but we’re pros at that now!

Stalled Spaces Scotland is a national programme commissioned by the Scottish Government and managed by Architecture and Design Scotland (A&DS) to encourage and support communities to bring stalled spaces or derelict and vacant land back into temporary use. We are looking for great ideas that benefit local people and enhance town centres.

By learning from the award winning Stalled Spaces project led by Glasgow City Council, A&DS is working with seven councils to deliver their own Stalled Spaces Scotland funding initiative. The grants will fund community groups to create temporary activity on under used open spaces in their town centres. Skills training and workshops will help local communities realise their plans.

SERVICE: Town Centre Living Advice

A&DS is developing a design advice service on town centre living, initially looking at town centres as Caring Places for older people.

Seeding Success Newsletter

A newsletter summarising the event Seeding Success: Learning from Stalled Spaces Scotland, held in Paisley Town Hall on 10 May 2017

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