We want people with learning and communication difficulties to be heard, understood, included and valued.
Why we use Story
Stories are important. They nourish our imagination, fill our dreams, entertain and inspire us. We use stories every day of our lives – every time we see friends, visit the doctor, return something we have bought, explain important facts to employers, teachers and social workers. Stories are the way we make sense of what has happened and so they are critical to our sense of who we are.
People with learning disabilities may find it hard to tell and recall stories:
- because of difficulties in learning and communication
- because sometimes people do not listen
- because sometimes people do not share story experiences with them
- because some stories are too painful to tell
Openstorytellers seeks to remove these barriers and give people the skills to share all sorts of stories: myths, legends, folktales and personal experiences, so they can be heard, understood and have choices in life.
Our activities support people with learning disabilities and autism to build:
- Communication skills. Sharing stories and personal experiences, and listening to others helps to increase inclusion and participation.
- Relationships. Learning how to listen, empathise and work together helps develop relationships and friendships.
- Confidence. Working together, being creative and learning new skills all help to develop an overall sense of confidence and empowerment.
- Independence. Learning transferable skills increases opportunities for work and getting involved in the community.
Openstorytellers was set up in 2004 by speech and language therapist Dr Nicola Grove, who discovered that sharing stories can help build relationships and challenge social exclusion.
Originally supported by the British Institute of Learning Disabilities (BILD), Openstorytellers became a charity in its own right in 2009.
Since then, we’ve gone from strength to strength, winning several awards for our work, and demand for our services continues to grow.