On a bitterly cold February day, the ‘Story Circles’ team (Jeannette Baxter, Eleni Kondari and Molly Naylor) launched the first in a series of story-telling workshops for young adult refugees at The Grange in West Norfolk. The Grange is a family home and smallholding in West Norfolk, run by Ben and Sophie, and since 2012 it has been opening its doors to refugees, asylum seekers and anyone from near and far who needs the opportunity to build their own resilience. In particular, The Grange welcomes people who have survived torture and extreme violence, and those fleeing persecution.
The story-tellers for this inaugural workshop – Salah, Talal, Hagir, Rabab, Jonny and Guben – were all clients from New Routes Integration Project in Norwich, who visit The Grange regularly to help Ben and Sophie with the smallholding. And they were joined by Milly, a volunteer at The Grange who had also recently returned from a period of voluntary work at ‘The Jungle’ (Calais). Under the expert guidance of Molly Naylor (workshop leader), the story-tellers took part in a variety of story-telling games and collaborative activities that encouraged them to think about the structure, pacing and deliveries of stories. At the end of the day, the story-tellers performed their tales (some fictional, some real-life) by a roaring fire to a packed room of volunteers. Please click here to read extracts from some of these stories.