Reflections on Storycircle from our partners

“Over the past 2 years we have enjoyed a rich collaboration with the Storycircle Team from Goldsmiths, which has impacted both the culture and the practice of the College. Staff and students alike have benefited from the considerable challenge and dedicated support of the Team to embrace a range of new media technologies, which has transformed our practice and will be self-sustaining into the future as the 3 main Departments cascade this work to other Departments.

“Immediate impact can be seen in the use of mobile phones to extend learning opportunities within and beyond the classroom, emergence of social media in pedagogic strategies, with Facebook and Twitter accounts very much to the fore and students having meaningful discussions in their social areas about what’s on the screens, as well as the dramatic and regularly changing digital displays in the corridors.

“This work has helped create a platform for dialogue between the students, between staff and students and between the College and other outside organisations. The external dimension of the Team has been a real catalyst, especially the innovative thinking, the nature of the live briefs and the pace at which staff and students had to work. It has created a very sustainable model to take forward and we are now developing a strategy to challenge all Departments to engage specifically with a regional University and/or employer partner to identify their own unique projects.

“We consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have worked with this Team, who were all inspirational, empathetic and highly motivational for staff and students alike. The added benefit that I had not envisaged is the impact that they had on staff. Through sharing their skills and knowledge, the Team helped build confidence in staff, which rapidly accelerated the pace at which they have introduced social media into their classroom.”

Gabrielle Lagan, Deputy Principal, Salford City College

“Collaborating with the Goldsmiths Storycircle team has been a real joy for the volunteers and young people at Salford Lads’ Club. From an initial focus to record stories about the 100 camping holidays the team have enabled the club to reach out to more people and expand the methods of capturing and documenting the clubs history. Our group of volunteers, aged 12 to 90, contributed to these recordings and learned new skills along the way. The team have helped the club bring an almost hidden history to light and create a new set of references for future generations.”

Leslie Holmes, Salford Lads Club, Project Manager

“Working with the Goldsmiths/Storycircle team has broadened my outlook on what makes a community. Even when looking at a relatively small residential area and its population, the mechanisms that build it and sometimes break it, have many influences. This project has managed to document memories from both insiders and outside participants in the social and personal development of a neighbourhood. The story gathering has developed in an apparently informal way, to give participants the encouragement and confidence to ‘tell their own story.'”

Kevin O’Neill, Editor, M3 Magazine

“Storycircle has really helped us to develop the community reporter programme, both through the development of the outcomes framework, and by supporting the redesign of our new communityreporter.co.uk web site. The outcomes framework, developed by Goldsmiths, has shown the impact the community reporter programme is having with individuals and communities, and has become a key part of our work. The staff at Goldsmiths have been inventive, imaginative, supportive and have offered us practical support. It has been a pleasure to work with them.”

Gary Copitch, Chief Executive, People’s Voice Media

“I have been amazed by the willingness of the local community of Islington Salford and people connected to Salford to participate in the Storycircle method of narrative recording. One of the reasons I think is the enthusiasm and professionalism of the Goldsmiths researchers involved, and another the Storycircle concept itself, which does not require an immediate full exposure to media recording if people do not wish: this can mature over time when confidence is built up. Storycircle again proves, how interconnected life is: emotionally, historically and geographically; as the saying goes, it’s a small world. May this concept grow and grow, it has been a pleasure to have learnt many things working alongside, and being supported by Goldsmiths research individuals and team.”

Hessel de Boer, City of Salford Knowledge Ambassador for Re-Block (URBACT) & Deputy Chair Ordsall and Langworthy Community Committee

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