StoryBank, Cancer Genetics, StoryWorks and old friends

Thanksgiving Day (USA) was also the day of the launch of StoryBank Cancer Genetics digital stories at the University of Glamorgan’s Atrium building in Cardiff, Wales.  It was a fantastic event.

First Minister Carwyn Jones AM, who formally launched StoryBank, told a moving story about a serviceman posted home who discovered from military records that he’d been sent home because his mother had cancer and wasn’t expected to live very long. Carwyn said: “That man was my father”. What a way to discover such bad news.The health professionals who spoke from the stage said stories are a much better way than pamphlets to:

  • persuade people with a significant history of cancer in their family to sign up to the Cancer Genetics Service for Wales’s register
  • give a voice to people who’ve had cancer and their families and friends
  • give reassurance to others watching the stories

As everyone who stepped up to the mic last night said, the most important people in the room were the storytellers. And here’s an example of one of the StoryBank stories:

“We’ve got cancer” by Gary Jones from Cancer Genetics StoryBank on Vimeo.

Tenovus has given valuable support to the project.

By the way, before the stories were shown, there was an unscheduled informal mini-reunion of former Capture Wales Cipolwg ar Gymru digital storytelling colleagues:

Karen Lewis – runs StoryWorks, the key organisation behind the StoryBank stories. Karen’s team worked with The Cancer Genetics Service for Wales (CGSW) and Dr Rachel Iredale, from Cardiff University’s Institute of Medical Genetics on the StoryBank project.

Lisa Heledd works with StoryWorks as well as being involved in other related digital storytelling projects. She also runs the Cardiff comedy Junket Club.

Carwyn Evans is focusing on his art right now but is also heavily involved in digital storytelling in Wales, not just with StoryWorks, but also currently with renowned digital storyteller Tracy Pallant on a project with Mind Cymru. There’s a screening of those stories in Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff on Thursday.

Lisa Jones – now works with Amnesty International Wales and the educational packs she’s just released are fab. It was so good to see Lisa after such a long time.

Visit the StoryBank website to watch and find out more about this fantastic project. It’s a great example of the use of digital storytelling for conveying and sharing information and personal experience.

Thanks.

Plant – 100,000 trees

How can one child’s idea change a country?
Here’s an example.
The 100,000th tree has been planted in time for National Tree Week. That’s one for every child born or adopted in Wales.  Here’s how it happened:

“The original idea for the scheme came from a Cardiff schoolgirl, Natalie Vaughan, 11 who wrote to her Assembly Member, Sue Essex, suggesting that planting a tree for every child born or adopted would be a good way to make young people think about their environment and the role they have in preserving it. The Welsh Assembly Government decided to run with the idea and it is now being delivered on their behalf by the Forestry Commission Wales and Coed Cadw (the Woodland Trust).”

Isn’t that great?
S0urce via Rory Francis.