Film for Change: Sharing Stories

Arts Events, Events, Exhibition, Film, Mental Health

This year the campaign behind the theme for the Love Arts Festival is Sharing Stories. At Time To Change Leeds, we are creating a film telling the story of a real person who has faced stigma, sharing their story.

As a volunteer at Time To Change, we are often sharing our stories with people, whether that’s as part of the Living Library, creating videos for the Listen Up Leeds website, or simply by being open and engaging with the public. The strap line for the TTC campaign is It’s Time To Talk, the more we open up and talk about mental health in everyday life, the less it becomes a taboo subject shrouded in misunderstanding. Media plays an important role in this, and to produce a film that breaks the taboos and stigma and reveals, that people with mental ill health are just that, people, is our goal. We all have mental health, so lets talk about it!

Today we learnt some basics about creating the story and assigning roles for each other. I’ve taken on the role of director, combining my organisational skills with my creative mind to help bring everything together. We are very much in the early planning stages, but I’m excited to see where we can go with this!


Outlined below is the various projects the campaign is undertaking this year.

At Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, our purpose is to improve the health and lives of the people who use our services every day.

We are committed to campaigning to raise awareness of mental health and learning disabilities and to reduce related stigma and discrimination.

This year we are harnessing the power of storytelling to bring people together around this common purpose. Stories are about making connections, engendering empathy and understanding, decreasing prejudice and stigma and about creating shared experiences, as well as tapping in to our imagination.

Sharing Stories is all about people who use our services, carers, staff, members and the public, coming together to tell our stories.

We are currently working hard pulling together many different aspects of our campaign. Key features are:

Your Stories – a bi-annual magazine comprising stories from people using our services.

Your Stories on our website – a ‘Your Stories’ section of the website where we upload stories shared by people using our services, carers, volunteers, members and staff. These will include blogs, podcasts and vodcast.

Creative writer in residence – a creative writer in residence who will create a book of stories plus resource material for staff on the topic of storytelling.

Readathon – a month-long fundraising campaign to encourage schools, colleges, prisons, hospitals and libraries to read for 24 hours during March, the month of World Book Day.

Digital storytelling – a series of twelve monthly ‘mini-campaigns’ on a variety of social media platforms.

A day in the life… – a section of the website where we share factual stories about a day in the life of a range of professionals working in our Trust.

Love Arts festival – the theme for the 2013 festival will be on storytelling and include lots of participatory activities with a strong storytelling thread running throughout.

Stories in care services – we will work closely with Patient Opinion from January to March to create stories to test out how we can embed learning from people’s stories about their experience of using our services. This project will be undertaken with the Healthy Living Team.

Book of the week month – we will promote a particular book each month that focuses on different aspects of wellbeing.

National campaigns – we will support and promote relevant national days and campaigns wherever possible.

Annual Members’ Day – this year the theme for our annual members’ day will be storytelling.