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‘It ignited a flame in me I never knew I had’: Stories Of Care Participant, Lee Campion, now

Stories of Care was more than just an opportunity to write a short story. It became my sole focus for a year. It became an education; it became my therapy; it became my family. Meeting people from every walk of life which SOC strive to do was humbling but also so integral to the writing process and creation of my short story. I was able to bounce ideas of my fellow writers in a safe space, with no judgment nor resentment, just pure simple support, and encouragement. Listening to hardships, emotions, joy, and talent was something so pure I truly believe there is no other space available to create such special and current stories. 

Stories of Care ignited a flame in me that I never knew I had…They challenged my brain and potential of what I could write and how I could think. All of this came with an overwhelming amount of excitement and cheers when a new idea or chapter appeared on the page.

I grew up in a single parenthood home where finances were limited, opportunities were sadly never readily available, Stories of Care opened up so many doors to me and made me understand and believe that just because I didn’t grow up with amenable opportunities that I couldn’t seek these out in my late 20’s and follow a passion I always had for writing and acting. 

Since the anthology has been published I have gone on to write my debut play, which is in its final stages. The play is called ‘Goodbye Little Old Me’. It centres around a one-hour therapy session where character one (patient), struggles with their adult identity.

When did their inner child die? All their dreams and aspirations supported by a no fear attitude…Where did that person go? This comes from personal challenges I have also faced and many I have spoken to; we never really mourn the loss of our carefree childhood self. Dreaming of being an astronaut or a zookeeper, owning a big house, travelling the world. It seemed to me that when you reach your teens or early twenties a transition happens where that person is lost along the way: bills need to be paid, your peers are growing up and those dreams often fall to the side.

Within this concept the play was born. The set is two chairs, a screen (which will have a stopwatch of one hour, the play (SHOULD) run exactly and the play finishes as the timer lands on zero) supporting character one is character two (the therapist) I have chosen not to name or gender these characters, I would like for the play to have longevity and for anyone of any age or gender to pick it up and play any part. It is funny, heart-warming, harsh, direct and guaranteed to relate to anyone in the audience.

Before the year is out I would like to finish the play and gain some writing and acting representation. This will guide me to get the play funding and get it workshopped.

I will forever be in debt to Sophie Willan, Oliver Sykes and all the Stories of Care team for all they have done for me. The education they provided and the staple pillars of creating and writing a short story will live with me throughout my career. I will strive to continue to aim to create a similar organisation one day to allow people from difficult backgrounds the opportunities to grow and thrive like Stories of Care did for me.