Team sat around a restaurant table wearing Mexican hats

Chapter Two

Stories Of Care: Chapter Two is our latest, large-scale, multi-platform creative writing and outreach project – and the blueprint for our long-term developmental programme, which we will deliver bi-annually.

Stories Of Care is expanding it’s core missions by working with a new and exciting Lead Artist from a different diverse background every two years. We will support each new Lead Artist as they explore their personal story and tap into it’s wider social narrative to make powerful, ambitious art and outreach that’s ring-fenced for young people from similar backgrounds.

This year’s new Lead Artist is our very own Producer, Oliver Sykes…

It became clear early on that Oliver was not only a great Producer, but a budding artist in his own right, with an important story to tell – growing up on a council estate, in a single-parent, low-income family on benefits – that couldn’t feel more urgent as we live through the extremities of poverty in a post covid-19 Britain. 

With Oliver as our new Lead Artist for Chapter Two, the Chapter One original remit (working exclusively with Care Leavers) will be widened to include young people from low-income and non-standard families.

And over the next 18 months we will deliver…

  • A brand-new writing development programme for twelve diverse new writers from Greater Manchester. They will work closely with the Stories Of Care team to develop their first short children’s story and get it ready for publication. We intend for every one of the writers to ‘graduate’ from the programme with their first publishing credit, working in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and Manchester Children’s Book Festival.
  • Our second vibrant children’s anthology for 7-12 year-olds, written by our participants and published by MMU.
  • 1000 free copies of the anthology will be given to children from Care Experienced, Low Income and Non-Standard family backgrounds.
  • The creation and publication of Oliver’s dazzling debut children’s novel, inspired by his experience growing up in a single parent low income family of boxers. 
  • A children’s theatre adaptation of Oliver’s novel, created and performed by Oliver and directed by Dominic Berry (an established theatre performer/director also from a low-income, single-parent family).
  • A national tour of Oliver’s show to libraries, boxing clubs and theatres, with a robust and unique outreach package, ring-fenced for our remit of children and young people.
  • Three brand-new paid (at living wage) positions, ring-fenced for previous (Care Experienced) Stories Of Care participants. They will receive mentor support and specialised training, to work across different departments such as Youth Liaison, Marketing and Project Management.

In a commitment to continued professional – and organizational – development, Stories of Care will also promote three previous participants to the roles of Young Company Member. These are paid roles that will utilize their experience from the first project to enhance the project and further develop them as creative leaders. 

Partners: Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Manchester, Buxton Amateur Boxing Club, Greater Manchester Higher, Manchester Children’s Book Festival, Manchester Metropolitan University, Moss Side Firestation Boxing Club, Reform Radio, Stanley Grove Primary School, Swiis Foster Care, Trafford Council and Z-Arts. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England. Supported by The National Lottery’s Community Fund.