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Our Story

Ongoing

Our Story will help decision-makers better understand the lives of parents of young children in Longsight, Manchester. This will help service providers ensure they meet the needs of the local community.

Helix Arts (2022)
Story gathering Techniques superimposed over each other.

Contexts:

Community

Partners:

Save the Children UK, Longsight Sure Start Children’s Centre

Stories can bring about positive change in communities. They help people make better sense of their own lives or other people's lives. We use stories to reflect on the past, think about the present and look toward the future. Helix Arts empowers people who are marginalised to raise their voices alongside skilled professionals guided by inspiring artists.

Our Story

Our Story will explore the challenges facing parents in Manchester. Working with an inspirational artist, parents and practitioners living and working in Longsight will share their understanding and experience of family life.

We will have a special focus on the lives of parents with children aged 3 years and under. Many of these parents have felt particularly isolated following the Covid-19. The pandemic’s impact on mothers during pregnancy and children’s in their early years has been immeasurable.

Confidence and Resilience

Through creative sessions those taking part will grow in confidence. They will explore how the arts can create a unique space to talk. They will come to appreciate the importance of their own and others stories. We will unlock the potential of those taking part to feel empowered. Their voices will make a difference to local decisions and services.

Chanje Kunda

Chanje is an artist working across performance, poetry and prose. She is also resident in Longsight. We hope her shared experiences with group members will help make a brave and empowering space to learn and grow.

In a series of sessions with those taking part in ‘Our Story’ Chanje will share some of the ways we can creatively share stories. This will include processes like journalling and the creation of vision boards.

Chanje Kunda Performing A Piece of Her Poetry on Stage.

Uncovering Longsight

Save the Children UK who commissioned Our Story  want to develop a clear picture of what it is like for families bringing up young children in Longsight.

Our Story sessions will help us better understand which services work and identify what is missing. What is learned will help influence and guide the development of Save the Children’s work with families and young children. They are keen to narrow the early learning gap and support future co-design projects with parents around play.

Raising Awareness

People can have a tendency to think their lives are rather ordinary. They do not always recognise the difficulties some people living in their neighbourhoods, towns and cities face. Or they do see the challenges and feel helpless. What can we do?

For those in difficulty they do not see a way out. Struggle becomes acceptable. Think about the huge increase in the use of food banks over the past decade. The Trussell Trust’s research suggests one in five parents skip meals feed their children. Eye watering energy bills are pushing those who were just about managing into poverty. Those who were already severely disadvantaged are in crisis. But what if communities could challenge this? To make those who appear apathetic appreciate that more needs to happen?

Reaching More People

Importantly the professionals from Longsight Children’s Centre and Save the Children UK will continue to advocate for the support these families need.

In addition those taking part will share how their work is progressing during Baby Week at Manchester Art Gallery. Then a pop up exhibition will tour three children’s centres across the city. They will encourage us all reconsider where we are and where we would like to be as a community, society and country.

We are certain that everyone taking part will enjoy the process and look forward to sharing the stories of Longsight.

Get Involved

#LongsightStory

If you enjoyed reading about Our Story we recommend you explore ‘Story of Place‘.

Are you interested in learning more about creative consultation or training? Get in touch to discuss your ideas and vision.

 

 

Artists

Chanje Kunda

Plant Picture of Chanje Kunda with Green Sofa, care of the artist's website

Chanje Kunda is a poet, playwright and performance artist. She creates work inspired by her life inspired art working across performance, literary, theatrical and live art.

Chanje has worked with a wide range of organisations including Central Manchester Hospital, the BBC, Whitworth Art Gallery.
www.chanjekunda.com

For further information please contact Elizabeth Kane (She/Her) Creative Producer

Email: elizabeth.kane@helixarts.com

 

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