I was travelling back from a long day delivering training in Sheffield recently when I remembered that I’d seen an eventbrite invite for a Charity Meetup networking event. I had a little conversation with myself (come on, we all do it) which went a bit like this: “Alice, you’ve just gone freelance – this is exactly the sort of event you should be going to…” And in reply: “But I’m tired and hungry and networking can be so, well, awkward, do I really have to?” I’m sorry to say that ‘negative me’ won and I started going down the escalator in the direction of home. But then ‘positive me’ got cross with ‘negative me’ (it does that sometimes) and so, (second embarrassing admission) I got to the bottom of the escalator turned round and promptly went back up again. I’m pleased I did.
Human beings are programmed to engage with stories and narratives. From an early age we use stories as a tool for learning and making sense of the world. As we grow older our lives are endlessly shaped by the stories all around us – we share anecdotes with colleagues and friends, we are exposed to daily news reports charting people’s lives and experiences, and we read literature to provoke, challenge and fulfil us.
But why are stories so viscerally powerful? What is the science behind the story? Continue reading “The science behind the story”
One of my favourite TED talks is Brené Brown sharing her research about vulnerability. At the outset she recounts how she first doubted, then embraced, being called a storyteller. Such initial trepidation is perhaps unsurprising from a distinguished academic. After all storytelling isn’t immediately associated with academic rigour.
Eaves Housing for Women, a beacon of support for women experiencing gender-based violence, has ceased its operations. It is a deep and profound loss to the women’s sector in the UK.
I worked at Eaves from 2005-2007. It was a privilege to work alongside so many brave women – staff and service users alike. It was a fierce baptism of feminist fire – a truly formative time of my life. Continue reading “Eaves closure is a devastating loss for the women’s sector”