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Spoken World has engaged with many community groups and actively seeks to work with those who are marginalised. Our projects raise profiles and give an opportunity for voices to be heard. Working in supportive groups enables participants to improve their wellbeing and develop agency by feeling included.

One project resulted in a unique calendar featuring each participant for a particular month

the elderley

Our work with frail and isolated elderly people involves listening to their stories and sharing the wealth of traditional repertoire relating to the themes they touch upon. We often work with other visual, musical and tactile materials to engage those experiencing memory loss.

One project resulted in a unique calendar featuring each participant for a particular month.

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Adults with learning disabilities

Our projects with learning disabled adults have taken them out of institutions for site visits relevant to the stories that we have shared. They have worked alongside groups they would not normally have contact with, such as being hosted in primary schools and being welcomed by schoolchildren. Learning disabled participants have share their creativity by performing as storytellers and contributing art work for props, exhibitions and booklets

children outside the education system

Spoken World understands that we don't all learn in the same way. Forest Schools, starting in Somerset and now found throughout the Britain, can be an ideal setting for those who don't thrive in mainstream education. Here you can see Sovereign Nature being accompanied by storytelling about wildlife. The audience is mainly made up of people experiencing neurodiversity and it is a testament to the power of story to have so many sitting together for so long!

The Khavad

Spoken World's khavad is possibly the only one in Somerset, and probably the only one anywhere which is 'recyclable'. A traditional way to tell stories, originating in Gujerat, India, a khavad is a cabinet with many surfaces on which are painted images from the story that is being told by the oral storyteller. These are revealed as the teller reaches the relevant part of the story. Traditionally the pictures are painted directly onto the panels, which means that only one story can be told with each khavad. We were given a grant to design and create a khavad with special frames to hold any number of images, hence the 'recyclable' description. As an illustrated form of storytelling, the images are also helpful for storytellers with speech or memory difficulties or for those who do not have English as a first language. Our projects enable participants to choose a story, create the images for the khavad and retell it in performances.

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general public

We were proud to be commissioned by Seed Sedgemoor to work with all members of the community, getting their curated art works and creative writing onto local buses. Some participants had never been involved in creative activities before, and were delighted to find their work in the public view. As soon as the project started, so did Covid restrictions due to the pandemic. It was a learning curve for all of us to create and communicate via Zoom, but the quality of the contributions didn't seem to suffer. Everyone was so generous allowing their work to be adapted to that of other participants. In our editing and curating process we blended them into a montage of images and words. This project led to several others with Seed Sedgemoor and we have continued to work independently with groups they introduced us to. We are looking forward to further projects with this organisation that does so much for people in this underserved area. Seed Sedgemoor is a beneficiary of the Arts Council's 'Creative People and Places' programme, 1 of only 38 in the whole country.

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