It is nearly a year since we started designing Impact Through Stories, a first of its kind project to bring leadership training to young people in North Wales through the powerful leadership technique of public narrative.
Building on the success of our work with fifty children from three schools in Flintshire as part of a pilot funded by the Welsh Government Transformation Programme and delivered in partnership with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Flintshire County Councast month saw band members Sue Powell and Sheena McDonnell take the programme into the sixth form hub at Maes Hyfryd.
As a Special Educational Needs school, we adapted the programme and its delivery to ensure that the 11 young people taking part got the greatest benefit from it.
To keep energy levels and engagement high, this included moving some of our learning outside. After only three days with the students we were delighted that everyone reached the stage where they could share their stories.
Some of the young people we were working with have had trauma in their lives. They have had to deal with being treated differently, and many were struggling with what they were going to do once they left school in a few months’ time.
Through talking them through the stages of public narrative and sharing examples to help inspire their stories, we enabled them to discover their passions and identify what is important to them.
Day three of Impact Through Stories is focussed on encouraging young people to share their narratives through film if they are comfortable talking to the camera, and it was wonderful to see some of this group of students using other creative ways to tell their stories, including through drama and dance.
The impact of their stories was incredibly powerful, and we saw huge emotion and pride from the students’ form teacher and deputy head, who told us that Impact Through Stories had enabled their students to share things about themselves that they’d never shared before.