We were approached by Go-Create, the Arts and Humanities programme at GOSH, to take part in this year’s arts residency. Following on from successful projects with puppetry, x-ray photography and poetry, it was the turn of storytelling. The project was to take place in the Respiratory Sleep Unit, telling and creating stories with children to create a book for future patients to read.
We saw up to four children per night for 13 nights, ranging in age from 2 to 16 with a variety of different needs who were staying overnight for sleep surveys. The youngest ones had stories read to them, to help create a cosier and friendlier atmosphere before bedtime. The older children were taken through a Storymapping process to create stories either about their futures, their friends, their pets or just pure fantasies.
A new story was written, using an element of each of the stories created with the children. Pictures were added by a professional illustrator before it was sent to the publishers. Each child who participated on the project received a copy of the book, along with a number of wards at GOSH, for future patients to enjoy. Images and words from the book were also used to decorate the Sleep Unit which, being new, had been rather stark and bare.