PACT has obtained grant funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to run a Story Giants of Eden project in many schools through Penrith and Eden District. The aim is to find local stories and make a champion giant story teller to show on May Day. The project will run workshops in 18 primary schools to find local stories and use a real giant puppet as each school's champion story teller. The giants will be shown at the Penrith May Day Parade in 2011 and an exhibition will be shown at Penrith museum. It is hoped that this storytelling work may continue in schools once the project has completed.
The project was devised by Dawn Hurton who works as the Extended Services Advisor Penrith Town for Children's Services. She works out of Ullswater Community College and from home. Contact her using the Contact Us form at the web site - select the Story Giants of Eden category.
Dawn is running the project. Peter Dicken from PACT has agreed to be on the project Steering Group. PACT Treasurer Chris Cant is providing financial monitoring. The whole £49,000 project is fully funded by the HLF, with PACT receiving £600 for our admin costs. Dawn is using her already paid time to run the project; Horse and Bamboo theatre, local artists and her parents are helping with the giant and carnival making and will also be paid.
PACT has asked Dawn how we can help. There is a budget of £800 for filming which Nigel Jenkins will hopefully undertake, possibly with help from secondary schools. The PACT web site will include space for Story Giants reports as a part of its redesign which has been commissioned from Chris Cant. Some info on the project is already online at www.penrithact.org.uk.
This is Dawn's report from 19/11/10 and her requests for help:
At last I can say, it's coming together well. I have a young and very talented local artist/designer on board (Jess Mills), Horse+Bamboo theatre company will do making workshops in each school and the time consuming structural making will be done by me here at home... with me making masks. I think I can pay everyone what they need within the budget.
- The introductory event is at the leisure centre in the afternoon on 7th January 2011.
- INSET training is on 10th January
- Final rehearsal on 29th April
The introductory event will be all 18 schools groups coming together for a storytelling performance by Dominic Kelly. The idea is to inspire and motivate participants and provide a taster of what the project is about. It will probably be from 12.30 til 3pm and Dominic will set pupils off on some games and exercises which demonstrate how stories are made. We have yet to work up more details.
I've been in touch with schools today to ask 3 individuals if they will join the steering group and will send invites out for the first meeting next week.
I met with the Lions and performances will probably be in St Andrew's churchyard subject to the necessary permissions
List of possible PACT input:
Support with finding/unearthing stories to support schools - even telling stories in school may be possible eg local memories/folklore
Presentation about PACT and what they do - perhaps even a story using the story angel? It would be possible to promote what you are about, why you are hosting the project etc and to have eg a stand... there will be 18 schools there and it will be a good opportunity to tell them about what you do.
Support with photo documenting of all/any activities
Making a video of the project for showing and distribution at the end - Nigel with young people from UCC!
Support on May Day
Support with the final exhibition
Participation on the steering group (Peter Dicken)
All of these are optional but it would be good if all participating pupils really understood the PACT message by the end of the project and this would open doors for more work in the future.
January 2011: More help needed
- It's a struggle to sort out transport because with the extra numbers the budget won't stretch to cover everything and we need to be as imaginative as possible. Any volunteer drivers that are registered to use the minibus scheme to take schools to shared venues would be very useful indeed.
- Storage of the puppets is a bit of an issue and transport to take puppets out to schools would be useful too.
- If anyone would like to help with costume making for those schools that need it, please get in touch.
BlueJam are providing the procession music for the Story Giant puppets at the Penrith 2011 May Day parade. Come and learn easy samba drum patterns at North Lakes School on Thursdays from 7-9pm. £5/£2 per child. No experience needed. More info.