Scottish Storytelling Health & Wellbeing

Scottish Storytelling Centre 

Training and Development Events:

Health and Wellbeing



“We never had so much need of storytelling and its healing powers.”
George Mackay Brown, poet, storyteller and patron founder of the
Scottish Storytelling Centre 


Stories play a crucial role in our ability to relate to each other and the world around us. In an ever-changing world, storytelling provides an invaluable vehicle for the creative sharing of thoughts, experiences and feelings, and is a useful tool for building confidence, communication skills and resilience, and facilitating personal and community development and transition.
It’s no wonder then that Health and Wellbeing plays a key role in our 2009/10 Connecting with Stories training programme. Ranging from events exploring emotional literacy and sensory stories, to intergenerational storytelling and storymaking, the programme brings together a wealth of skills and experience from professional storytellers working across a range of health and wellbeing settings with people of all ages.






Bookings: 0131 556 9579 or

Storytelling and Mental Health
Saturday 3rd October 2009, 10.30am-4.30pm
Join storytellers, professional staff and carers in a full day event exploring storytelling across a range of health and wellbeing contexts. Share and discover ideas, best practice examples and innovative and exciting approaches to stories and storymaking with children, young people, adults and older people. Led by a creative team from the Scottish Storytelling Centre, including Millie Gray and Lesley O’Brien.
£32 (£26 Scottish Storytelling Network members)
Stories to Live By: Storytelling and Emotional Literacy
Monday 26th October 2009, 10.30am-4.30pm
Emotional and behavioural issues in the 10-14 age range can be a pressure point and spill over into a additional learning support needs. Can story provide a language for emotional literacy and a way of addressing the big themes appropriately? Journey, transition and growing up are at
the core of the world’s great stories. Led by Michael Williams, Ruth Kirkpatrick and Wendy Woolfson.
£32 (£26 Scottish Storytelling Network members)
Life Storying: Reminiscence, Autobiography and the Art of Story
Saturday 21st November 2009, 10.30am-4.30pm
How to evoke, shape and share your own personal stories. Is there a particular skill to life storying, and how do you create personal connection between your story and those of others? Led by Millie Gray and Noel Cochrane.
£32 (£26 Scottish Storytelling Network members)
Between the Generations: Sharing the Stories
Saturday 28th November 2009, 10.30am-4.30pm
Society needs places and spaces that bring the generations together, from Grannie and Grandpa stories to the fresh discoveries of the early years. This day of participatory workshops and storytelling performances is for two, three or even four generations to attend together. Full details to be announced in the Scottish Storytelling Centre’s What’s On events
£32 (£26 Scottish Storytelling Network members)
Sensing the Stories
Tuesday 5th January 2010, 10.30am-4.30pm
Can narrative be a means of exploration and expression for those with disabilities and additional support needs? For this day the whole Storytelling Centre will become a multi-sensory laboratory for ‘learning through the senses’. Led by a creative team from the Scottish Storytelling Centre.
£32 (£26 Scottish Storytelling Network members)


Scottish Storytelling Centre

43-45 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SR
Reception +44 (0)131 556 9579

The Scottish Storytelling Centre is a registered Charity No. SCO 11353

Outdoors & health a literature review

This literature review, which can be downloaded from , examines existing research on health and the outdoors. Children have
been identified as one of the key social groups that could gain health benefits from use of the outdoors – but also one that requires evidence-based policy directed towards their needs. Therefore, the review takes an in-depth look at the current themes within health, outdoors and children’s research and highlights how these relate to understanding the links between children’s use of outdoors spaces and health outcomes.

Lots of useful information and bags of references – not everybodies cup of tea – but for a literature review it is pretty readable.


Steven Wray

Supporting research and evaluation


Learning is intended as one of the key tools for ‘Support from the Start’. The following describes how we will be supporting the learning process around ‘Support from the Start’.

We start from the premise that tackling health inequality is not something that is completely understood – there are no off the peg solutions.

However, we will not be ignoring what is already known, and part of the learning process will be disseminating information about what has been shown to work in the rest of Scotland and internationally. The Health & Early Years Learning Network will have a key role to play in this work. This network will be chaired by Ann Hume, East Lothian Council’s Early Years and Childcare Officer, and will promote and organise events and training session for ‘Support form the Start’. The first of these will be on the 16th March, and we are delighted to announce that the Guest Speaker will be Harry Burns, Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer. More information on this event will be the subject of another post – however you can reserve a place by emailing your contact details to:

To support services and communities that want to undertake evaluation and research in relation to ‘Support from the Start’, we are establishing a Research and Evaluation group which will be chaired by Queen Margaret University. This group will bring together people and organisations with expertise to act as an information and support for ‘Support form the Start’ research and evaluation activity. Anybody that has a research idea connected to the health of children in the early years will be able to submit it to this group and receive feedback on how they might be able to turn into a practical research / evaluation proposal. The group will also be tasked with maintaining an overview of research and evaluation taking place in respect of ‘Support from the Start’, and liaising with national groups and resources for research.  

Another way learning will be supported is through ‘Action Learning Sets’. The Set members will be those individuals that have been identified as champions for ‘Support from the Start’. The Sets will allow the champions to meet on a regular basis and discuss problems and issues associated with tackling health inequality in their service areas.

Finally, this blog aspires to be a place where people can not only learn about East Lothian’s Equally Well Test Site, but also debate issues in relation to tackling inequalities in health.

Happy New Year

Steven Wray