Robert McKee, a screenwriter and lecturer, is quoted as saying 'Stories are how we remember, we tend to forget lists and bullet points'. We all at some time have been subjected to busy and / or illegible Powerpoint slides at events, without really taking any learning away from them. Stories are different. It can be argued that the art of telling and listening to stories is at the heart of what it means to be human, how we articulate our experiences of the world and and make sense of it.
Examining the power of story, and more specifically, personal story in social services, is one which has recently been explored by Iriss. In December, we published an evidence review on the role of personal storytelling in practice. It looks at what story and storytelling is and whether autobiographical, first-person storytelling constitutes valuable evidence that can influence better practice, and can engender positive meaningful change for individuals who access support. It makes the case for a) the use of personal stories in practice and b) the creation of personal stories. It also highlights some of the potential pitfalls of creating personal stories and how to avoid them.
As well as producing an evidence review on the topic of storytelling, we created Storybank - a resource bank of materials on the subject. This provides guidance for planning storytelling work with individuals, as well as practical examples of personal storytelling across disciplines such as health and social care, mental health, dementia, care leavers, and children and families.
If you know of or have examples of stories you think would be relevant to include in Storybank, please contact Michelle Drumm (Iriss)