York Stories 2012 – part of York 800 – is looking for participants for a project which enables members of the Armed Forces community in York to tell their untold stories.
Working with City of York Council’s Arts and Culture Service and the Armed Forces community (Military Civil integration Project & Army Welfare Service), Armed Forces Community Presents… will capture and share stories of the military community in and around York, from serving members of the armed forces to veterans, families, cadets, TA members and linked organisations.
Heading up the project is Digital Storyteller Barrie Stephenson, who pioneered digital storytelling for the BBC with a major television and internet project called Telling Lives.
Barrie Stephenson said: ‘York is a great military city and has been ever since the Romans built their Legionary Headquarters here two thousand years ago. I’m interested in collecting the stories from living memory – stories of the events in your life that involved days in ‘the forces’. Or it may be that your contact through work, romance or proximity with one of the barracks or air bases near York played a significant part in your life. Whatever your links, either enlisted or as a civvy, you will have stories to tell.’
Cllr Sonja Crisp, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: “I am delighted that York Stories 2012, a key strand of York 800, is now reaching out into the military community in the city. I am really hopeful that this project will uncover fascinating stories to add to our already diverse collection”.
The project is funded by an award from the Armed Forces Community Covenant Fund which the city recently received, and about which Brigadier Greville Bibby, Commander of 15 (North East) Brigade and York Garrison, recently said: “The Covenant will help cement our relationship at a local level, and ensure that our Armed Forces, veterans and their families have the support they need and are treated with the dignity they deserve.”
Initially, stories will be recorded in the voice of the storyteller and added to the collection of York 800 stories. They may be broadcast by BBC Radio York, published in the York Press, available in York Archives or streamed on the internet. Some stories may then be developed into digital stories or a drama script to be performed by young people in York working with Riding Lights Theatre Company, or presented as part of the Illuminating York Festival.
Anybody wishing to register their interest to take part in the project should contact the York Stories email address – firstname.lastname@example.org – or call 01904 554667 saying they are interested in attending an Armed Forces Communities presents… story workshop.