Story Guide Trainees who have taken part in the story guide training programme, delivered in partnership by Asylum Welcome and the Story Museum, applied the key transferable skills they have learned so far to work with pupils from two schools during their trip to the Story Museum last week.

The essential key story guiding and story -telling skills of communication, collaboration, presentation and group management, which the trainees have been diligently developing over the course of the last few months were put to the test in a ‘real life’ work experience when they became story guides for the day.

The guides approached the day with excitement, confidence and some trepidation but were fully supported by professional teachers, storytellers and museum guides and were confident in the knowledge that the skills and knowledge they had learned would allow them to carry out their roles.

“When I started I was a bit nervous but after 15 minutes I thought I’m ok, I can do it……” and “I learned new techniques when I watched the teachers and guides.” Haneen

Children from St Barnabas Primary School and St Gregory’s visited the Museum and were welcomed to a half day session of storytelling and exploring the museum. Our trainees guided the school groups through the museum and helped them understand and explore the history of storytelling from the early days of oral stories to the present-day digital stories.

The trainees guided the students through the Whispering Wood, where they introduced the students to traditional tales, helped organise a story telling session and challenged their audience to listen to the whispering words of the wood.

“I have never done anything like this before….now I know how it feels to work and to use my new skills……amazing.” Lubna

In the Book of Hopes and Enchanted Library, the trainees put their presentation and guiding skills into practice, Haneen taught children how to play “Poohsticks”, Lubna asked the children what it would be like to fall down a rabbit hole like “Alice” and Sahar calmed the students in The Snowman room as they were entranced by the music and eager to watch a magical story unfold.

Each trainee joined a group and facilitated the “The Story of my Name” session, where the students and adults shared the meaning of their names. In this shared session the students and adults created stories based on their names. With the help of Sahar, a trainee story guide, Mark, a year 6 student from St Barnabas created a story from the word “ark” in his name, where he went through magical “arkches” on a journey of discovery.

”I have learned how to feel comfortable talking with children and how to help them use their imagination.” Sahar

The day was a pivotal experience for our trainees, they realised that they could use their new skills to engage others and become more involved in making a contribution to a local cultural venue, but have also taken a positive step forward in developing their employability skills and can start to think about developing a readiness to be employed and purposefully engaged in our community.

– Jan Dogar-Hurd

Featured photos taken by Pedro Dieguez: Volunteer Photographer at Asylum Welcome.