From being moved to moving – putting stories into action
On 10th November 2023, the Regional Partnership Board held a storytelling event ‘From being moved to moving – putting stories into action’ for all its partners to learn more about storytelling, and share their knowledge and experiences, funded by Health and Care Research Wales and Welsh Government. Cllr Dilwyn Morgan welcomed everyone to the event before Dr Nick Andrews of Swansea University shared an introduction to the Developing Evidence Enriched Practice (DEEP) methodology. Posts highlighting aspects of the day’s events can be found on X (formerly Twitter) by following the hashtag #storytelling23.
The morning consisted of a variety of stories being shared, demonstrating the value of stories in understanding the complexity of humans, and how powerful stories can be used to change mindsets, and motivate and inspire ourselves and others. Some stories that were shared that are available via YouTube include:
Further examples were shared that demonstrate different ways stories can be utilised, this included for person-centred support and in closed cultures. ForMi is an app to support mental health. It is a person-centred planning and outcome recording app for individuals receiving targeted support, allowing the user to share their story, and be actively engaged in conversations about what matters most to them, based on their strengths and aspirations for their future. In closed cultures, stories allowed people to share the unseen, identifying experiences that would not have been revealed using the standard inspections, for example, in one home it was revealed a resident had not been allowed to stay in bed when ill and was not allowed visitors without 24 hours’ notice.
During the afternoon, there was a choice of 3 workshops:
- Public narrative – Wrexham University
- Magic moments/most significant change – Swansea & Bangor University
- Lived experience and community reporting – Cardiff University
I attended the public narrative workshop. It demonstrated the power narrative has to elicit an emotional response, and how anyone can be a leader through communicating their story to effect change. They described three components you need to build into your story to make it more likely others will take action; these three questions help to incorporate these components:
- What is your passion?
- What will make this urgent to people now?
- What values connect us?
In discussion some interesting questions and comments were posed, I have included some here that may be useful when contemplating how we can best use stories.
How do we capture and take action on day-to-day stories, not just from story capturing activities?
We need to consider how we take action from these stories, so they have a purpose.
We need to make sure we have the right people around the table to make changes.
A story is only one perspective, we need to consider multiple perspectives to get a full picture, service users, staff, and carers but we also need to acknowledge that each story is equally valid.
Stories can be written, spoken, or expressed through dance, pictures, or song. Micro stories can be used to capture the small moments.
Consider consent to share stories, how they will be used, shared, and anonymity.
Are people ready or willing to hear? What about story fatigue/desensitisation?
Although there is a risk stories may be misused to argue a particular point of view, the same is true for the use of statistics or other forms of data.
Although the day demonstrated the power of stories, it did also highlight the need for and value other forms of data, and so I leave you with this quote that was shared.
“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”