Small and often disregarded artefacts and fragments can be as illuminating, valuable and powerful as longer, more 'complete' stories.
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The Bog
Narrative and Memory

Polly is a student currently taking the Storying Sheffield course. In this reflective and moving piece she remembers her father, Ivan, and discusses narrative and memory.        These photos were taken mid 1970s on the bog in Co- … Continue reading


Mike’s Journey




Many thanks to Chrissy for sharing this story. At the bottom of the post is some information about Chrissy.     Throughout the winter, the grass had been quietly remembering the summer. It still felt the area where a disposable … Continue reading


Jeremy: Perceptions

  Natalie and Leyla worked with Jeremy to create a film about his life.          


More story fragments.

  These are story fragments, focused on ‘trees’, from a recent Storying Sheffield workshop. The stories are written by 2nd year undergraduate students.                  


Trees. A fragment.

                  This is a story fragment on the subject of ‘trees’ from a recent workshop at a mental health day centre in Sheffield. Many thanks to the author for allowing us to share it here.    


‘I might…’ World Mental Health Day: Poetry Competition winner

Each year the University of Sheffield supports World Mental Health Day (WMHD) on the 10th of October and this year’s theme was ‘mental health is for everyone’. The underlying message was that we all deserve our mental health and through … Continue reading


Storying Sheffield

A city is comprised of complex fabrics woven from its physical spaces and the lives of the people who inhabit them.  To understand a city, one needs to study both the stories of these lives, and the spaces in which they unfold.


Storying Sheffield is about narrative, community, arts/wellbeing, mental health & place. Read more here.


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      Steel Stories is a new project for 2013-2014 which will bring together academics, artists and students with people who work in the Sheffield steel industry to co-produce visual, textual, and aural representations of the industry.   Marking the 100th … Continue reading

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    22nd October, The Showroom, Sheffield: Special film screenings for Black History Month. Click here for more information.     We Are Here is a ‘widening participation’ project based in the School of English at the University of Sheffield. It aims … Continue reading

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      Storying Sheffield is working closely with the High Sheriff of South Yorkshire, Sheffield City Council and a range of third sector organisations on an exciting new project in the Abbeydale and Sharrow areas of the city.   Read more here.   … Continue reading

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      You zi is a digital storytelling project which works with Chinese students to share stories of life in Sheffield.     The You zi project has involved Storying Sheffield’s David Forrest and photographer Gemma Thorpe working with Chinese students who have … Continue reading

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        People who have participated on Storying Sheffield have formed a group which meets regularly to do interesting things, such as stage exhibitions, visit places of cultural interest, and socialise.   Read more about the After Storying Sheffield group here. … Continue reading

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    Sheffield Film Studies & Sheffield Studies Film: City, Image, Memory       Drawing on a range of interdisciplinary approaches to issues of space, landscape, and the city, Sheffield Film Studies and Sheffield Studies Film is a project which works … Continue reading

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      An important part of the University of Sheffield’s mission and strategy is rooted in its founding principles, in which civic responsibility and engagement were and are a central component. The Storying Sheffield course and wider project is contributing to … Continue reading

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    This section introduces the ways in which the techniques and ethos of storying has been used in mental health contexts. [under construction]     See also: Working in secure psychiatric facilities.   Links to follow   Recovery   Training materials … Continue reading

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            Much of Storying Sheffield’s activities include partnership working with groups and institutions.  These include local authorities, museums and galleries, NHS Trusts, social enterprises, community centres, local artists and businesses, and arts festivals. Some examples of our partnership work … Continue reading

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        Storying Sheffield engages in various research projects closely allied to its activities and themes. The Storying Sheffield project itself emerged from a strong research base. Current research includes David Forrest’s work on film, and Brendan Stone’s research on … Continue reading

News and Events


The University of Sheffield Counselling Service Annual Lecture.   Digital Natives and Digital Immigrants: Applying depth psychology to the understanding of relationships in our contemporary connected up culture.   The last decade has seen a meteoric rise in online social … Continue reading


  Head-Lines: Writing from Survivors of Coma and Brain Injury Date: Thursday 1 May, 2014 – 6.30pm-9pm Venue: St George’s Church, Sheffield Tickets: Free, register for your ticket at   Head-Lines is the second anthology of creative writing produced … Continue reading


  The next meeting of the Sheffield Arts and Wellbeing Network will take place on Monday 7th April at 6.30pm.   The presenter will be Brendan Stone who will be talking about the Storying Sheffield project, and in particular about … Continue reading


Art work by Kay Aitch     Sheffield’s Shakespeare: A Community-based Reading Group for 2014     Sheffield’s Shakespeare is an inclusive reading and discussion group open to anyone and everyone.   Sheffield’s Shakespeare aims to enable a diverse group … Continue reading


    This is Our City: Sheffield on film, including a talk by Iain Sinclair. Mon, 12 May, 18:15 – 20:30 Showroom Cinema, Paternoster Row, Sheffield.     This is Our City showcases the work of some of the many … Continue reading


  New Connections. Wednesday, May 28th. 10am-4pm, Central Sheffield. Free.   This networking event and symposium will explore the themes of arts/health/humanities/wellbeing, with a focus on developing collaborations and partnerships, facilitating, generating, and supporting funding bids, and advancing a vision … Continue reading

Edges Poster, Funny You Should Ask

EDGES: A Musical Comedy Monday, March 17th, at 7.30pm Montgomery Theatre, Surrey Street, Sheffield, S1 2LG Tickets: £7/£6 adv. Discounts for groups of 10+. Email for more information.   Funny You Should Ask are back for one night only … Continue reading

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  The 24 Hour Inspire 2014   5 pm Thursday 27 March – 5 pm Friday 28 March Firth Hall, University of Sheffield   24 hours of lectures on life, the universe and everything, in honour and celebration of Dr … Continue reading


  The Centre for the Study of Literacies @ Sheffield 6th Annual Conference: The University of Sheffield, 27th ‐ 28th June 2014.   The Centre is interested in exploring everyday literacies and communicative practices linking to questions connected with space, … Continue reading


    Recovery Enterprises is a Sheffield social enterprise which has a specific focus on developing opportunities with and for people who have experienced mental health conditions, to enable people to live fulfilled lives. We are supporting the development of … Continue reading


Representing Dementia
March 20, 2014

In this guest post, Laura Savidge, a final year undergraduate studying English Literature at Sheffield University, writes about her research project on narrative, identity and dementia. Laura is keen to work in mental health, and at the end of the … Continue reading


Steel Stories is a current project in which three photographers and film-makers are producing visual narratives of the steel industry in Sheffield. They are accompanied on their shoots by students from the School of English who are writing reflections on … Continue reading

Steel Sonnets
March 4, 2014

Steel Stories is a current project in which three photographers and film-makers are producing visual narratives of the steel industry in Sheffield. They are accompanied on their shoots by students from the School of English who are writing reflections on … Continue reading

The Finished Product
March 3, 2014

Steel Stories is a current project in which three photographers and film-makers are producing visual narratives of the steel industry in Sheffield. They are accompanied on their shoots by students from the School of English who are writing reflections on … Continue reading

Anti-Culture Shock
March 2, 2014
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Thanks to Lise Graham for this post. Lise is an international student from Chicago, currently taking the Storying Sheffield undergraduate module.     I’ve almost made it to week four at University of Sheffield and though I thought myself well-adjusted … Continue reading

Time to Talk
February 6, 2014
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Thanks to Cath Annabel for allowing us to share the post below which was originally published on her blog Passing Time.     I’m supporting this campaign by Rethink, to encourage people to talk about mental health. Because it’s hard … Continue reading

What are Universities for?
January 20, 2014

Many thanks to Steve Pool and Kate Pahl for sharing this piece. Steve is a Sheffield based artist, and Kate is an academic in the School of Education at the University of Sheffield.     What are Universities for? Steve … Continue reading

New Year
January 6, 2014

Many thanks to Shirin Teifouri for sharing this poem.       New Year   I am travelling from England to motherland to stare at my mother’s vanishing point into the new year, as far back as I remember I … Continue reading


Steel Stories is a current project in which three photographers and film-makers are producing visual narratives of the steel industry in Sheffield. They are accompanied on their shoots by students from the School of English who are writing reflections on … Continue reading


Steel Stories is a current project in which three Sheffield-based photographers and film-makers are producing visual narratives of the steel industry in Sheffield. They are accompanied on their shoots by undergraduate students from the School of English who are writing … Continue reading


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A picture of central Sheffield

      I put my forehead on the window I feel the cold pulse of the night behind these lenses that look like mine I look at a narrow street in central Sheffield the mist, the walls, the bricks, … Continue reading


Storying Abbeydale

  Click on the image to download an interactive Powerpoint show, created by Beth Monks for the Hearing Community Stories project (formerly ‘Researching Community stories’). There are multiple routes through the presentation, and if you pause on the screen, further … Continue reading


Salomée’s Sheffield experience

Salomée Ornetti is a university student from France who is currently studying in Sheffield on the Erasmus scheme. She is also a talented photographer, and here she shares images and words about her experience of Sheffield and the UK.   … Continue reading


“I value other people more than I value myself.”

A story of caring, disability, family, and love.     Zoe, Amy, Duncan, and Jess worked with Alister and Angela to create a series of pieces, one of which is the film linked here.   “Alister and Angela are a … Continue reading


‘Psychosis’. A poem

This poem has been shared by a local writer who wishes to be known simply as “a Sheffield psychiatric patient”.       Psychosis     Untethered from my past and cast adrift I reach for the profound and lose … Continue reading


Displacement: Lisa & Liv

  Lisa and Liv created a film to capture Lisa’s experience of growing up in the countryside and of living, and raising her son, in Sheffield, and the challenges she faces here. The film was accompanied by a suitcase installation. … Continue reading


The tram (and the red shadow)

Many thanks to Anne Fielding for sharing this story about her mother, Nellie McQueen, who worked in the Sheffield steel mills during WWII. Anne says of her mother, “She wore a red overall and the girls used to call her … Continue reading


Wild Flowers

  Emma and Georgina worked with Michelle to tell her story through the medium of a family album, a story which speaks of “family, positivity, breaking free and hope”.        


Storying the Manor

  Isla Badenoch worked with the Archaeology Department at the University of Sheffield and produced these books on the Manor Castle and Estate in Sheffield.   Part one     Part two      


This is not a lecture. Stories of wellbeing.

    In February 2013, people from all over the University of Sheffield came together to honour and celebrate the life of our colleague Tim Richardson. A 24 hour lecture series was staged. You can read more about this event … Continue reading


Portable Worlds

  One of the stories presented at the Storying Sheffield Exhibition in June 2013 was this film which formed part of an installation. It takes an abstract approach to Shirin’s story, using her own writing, and was produced collaboratively with … Continue reading


At home with dementia

Many thanks to Yo Tozer-Loft for sharing this story.       There are times in life that are bigger than we can manage. In 2009, when my children were 7 and 3, my father came to live with us. … Continue reading