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  • Johny Haycocks

Connections, Voices and Stories

Updated: Apr 15, 2022

So today I embarked upon another part of the systems change training entitled ‘Telling Our Stories’ session hosted by Jude Habib (Sound Delivery), Pauline Roberts (Systems Changes) and Paul Connery (Lankelly Chase Foundation). The session entailed a series of discussions and workshop sessions on how we as Systems Change Ambassadors for the MCN Multiple Disadvantaged Network in York, could embark upon the journey of telling our stories and have the many voices heard.

The reason for this being very simple in that a lot of voices in communities remain ‘unheard‘, even in an age where technology is allowing us forums to speak from that in the past just wouldn’t have existed. So in using a range of mediums from which to share our stories we can raise awareness and reach people with ‘current issues’. We can access stories that remain hidden from a large part of communities and services that can often lead to many people in their communities being marginalised, misunderstood and not even heard in a lot of cases. Blogging is a tool to change this situation.

Today for me was a reminder to embrace the ‘inner activist’ that rather shamefully had become dormant for a long while, with excuses of no time and other more important matters and issues hogging my time and the majority of my ‘thinking and doing space‘. However, here is the revelation and a lesson for us all upon reflecting on todays learning, it really doesn’t take long to write a few words about an emotional story or experience you have encountered personally or tell a story that someone has shared with you that has ‘Stopped you in your Tracks’ quite literally. The chances are if its tugged at your conscience or indeed your heart strings then there is a good

chance its a story that needs sharing and its a ‘voice that should definitely be heard’.

It can be an individuals insight into their experiences within the community, it can be a collective gathering of voices that explain a situation that’s calling out for changes to be made, but the message just hasn’t reached the right people or has remained buried and silenced. The important matter of finding the right audience to hear the stories remained throughout our learning today, regardless of whether you are writing blogs, producing audio and video blogs, podcasts or another channel to speak from. The message is to ‘get the message out there’ using whatever methods suit you personally.

Today for me was about telling our stories, ‘everyone being heard’. Telling them in a way that communicates the emotions we attach as human beings about someone else’s story. Demonstrating empathy and a shared understanding of a persons situation and experiences, in an effort to bridge the gaps in services and stop the people that all too often fall through the cracks from doing just that. Today was huge for me and I committed myself to a fortnightly blog post about my experiences ,observations and stories. What better starting point than this ? Be passionate, be active, be inclusive, be inquisitive, be thought provoking, share and tell these stories in a way that touches people and allows us all to be heard.

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