We introduced Walking Stories to further reach out to our community digitally and in a COVID-secure way. The project invited local people to write stories about where they live. Each story was recorded by a professional actor, with an original soundtrack created by Sound Designer David Lewington, to transform their story into a beautifully crafted audio-guided story, downloadable and free for all from our website. Walking Stories was also shared widely on social media platforms and featured on local media including BBC Radio Suffolk, within local press and magazines, and is featured as a town trail on the Our Bury St Edmunds Business Improvement District’s app, Loyal Free.
Four of the ten writers came through Act Your Age and Community Company programmes. We hosted donor events around Walking Stories during lockdowns. This allowed us to continue to engage with our Patrons and sponsors in a socially-distanced way.
“I really enjoyed writing the Newmarket story. I walked the journey and it was great to get out and have a reason to be going out and going somewhere with a purpose. I’d already done a lot of writing with Lynn (Lynn Whitehead, Facilitator) and the online course I was part of. So, to have a reason to write something for a professional actor to perform was a new opportunity for me. I’ve done a few more since and sent them in to competitions. It’s really useful to have a deadline.
I’m in some online groups so I can get feedback from people as I go – and Lynn has been really helpful about reading through some of my stuff and giving feedback. It’s been really good, because […] I’d not written anything before I started this, now I’m writing every day.”
Keith Hoddy, Act Your Age Participant & Walking Story Author