Penicuik Arts Centre brings local storytelling to ‘Oor Toon’

Wednesday October 4th 2023

Ruth Kirkpatrick

Ruth Kirkpatric. Photo credit Sandy Butler.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Penicuik Arts Centre is hosting storytelling club nights celebrating ‘Oor Toon’ for all members of the community to enjoy thanks to £4,735 of support from The National Lottery Awards for All programme supported by Creative Scotland.

The low-cost local storytelling sessions will provide a supportive space for thirty beginners and more experienced writers to tell stories in a fun, friendly and social environment. The funds will also allow the group to host five training workshops for up to sixteen people to develop their own writing and story-spinning skills.

Project leader and professional storyteller, Ruth Kirkpatrick, said: “The storytelling project has provided a much-needed focus for local people to come together and venture out into the community. Some people continue to be cautious about socialising after the impact of COVID. The clubs and workshops have generated a ‘buzz’ of activity and enthusiasm as well as re-establishing old connections and making new ones. Storytelling is perhaps the most human of the arts, nurturing not only a sense of place and identity but also one of history and future possibilities.”

The club kicks off on Friday 10 November with Sef Townsend who has shared stories all over the world, followed by his storytelling workshop. Full information including how to sign up for sessions, can be found on the Penicuik Arts’ website.

Executive Director of Arts, Communities and Inclusion at Creative Scotland, Dana MacLeod, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players and the brilliant work of these local initiatives, this funding will make a huge difference to people’s lives. The quality of Awards for All applications received speaks volumes of the care and ingenuity of people working within communities and we’re delighted that these grants are being used to support great projects that strengthen those communities and improve lives in so many ways.”

Midlothian isn’t alone in benefiting from Awards for All funding. Over £130,000 from Creative Scotland has been distributed to seventeen community groups and projects across Scotland in the latest round of awards. To date, 74 awards totalling £588,188 have been made by Creative Scotland through Awards for All since December 2022.

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