Thanks to everyone who passed on their best wishes last week, as I hosted the first Leicester Stories community media café. It was great to be out of the office and away from a computer screen. What a difference it makes to be interacting directly with people again. The Bridge Street Chappel Café is a great venue, and they do a really good job of making sure all their visitors are social distancing.
We got off to a great start by helping Helen from the Evington Echo to record a community message, which is now being played out on Leicester Community Radio. It can be as simple as recording a WhatsApp voice message. Sometimes we just need a little bit of help and guidance to make sure our message is expressed clearly. It was also great to be able to connect Helen with Roy, who teaches social media to undergraduate students at De Montfort University. Not everyone is a whiz with social media, but everyone has a story they can tell. There’s lots of insight to be shared from talking with others about how to post messages and share stories across different social media platforms.
Coming up this week, we’ve got:
Community Media Café: Tuesday 15th June 10am – 12pm Bridge Street Chappel Café
The community media café takes place on Tuesday mornings through the summer. It’s an open drop-in session, so we can chat and talk with other people who are interested in improving their community communications. You don’t need any technical expertise or a professional background in media. We like to make and share our media based on DIY principles. It can be photos, videos, blogs, podcasts, news updates, whatever fits with you. The café is a great way to meet people who have a similar passion for representing their neighbourhood or community, and telling positive stories about the people who are part of it. Do pop in for a chat and we’ll get you a tea or coffee.
Community Media Reporters Club: Thursday 17th June 10am – 12pm Documentary Media
If you want to take your community communication skills and experience to the next level, I am hosting a community reporters club every Thursday through the summer. You don’t have to be an expert in making any type of media, but you will probably be a little more experienced posting DIY media content online. You might already be volunteering or working for a community group, mutual aid group, charity, or other public or civic organisation. As we build back better from the pandemic, and we try to ensure that no one is left behind, this means also making sure that no one is ignored or overlooked by our media. Community media is about finding ways to support people to tell their own stories and find their own voices. The reporter’s club is free to attend, but you’ll need to register in advance. There are twelve places each week, and we will be meeting under social distancing requirements at the Documentary Media Centre. I’ve attached a poster – it would be great if you can share it to help get the word out.
Community Reporter’s Club: Register Here
The idea behind Leicester Stories is to nurture a safe space for the sharing of community messages and stories in Leicester. We have some great community radio stations in Leicester, who have been working tirelessly over the last year to keep their communities informed and updated about the Covid-19 restrictions. They are trusted voices in their communities, run by volunteers, and dependent on the good will of people helping in community and mutual aid groups. Leicester Stories aims to support the stations, and other community media projects like them, by sharing the stories we gather and playing them out on the radio stations, or repurposed for other platforms.
If you’ve got an event or run a regular community session that you would like help sharing a message about, do get in touch. If the event or session is free or very-low cost, then it can be shared on Leicester Stories website, and the Leicester Community Radio message service. If you have a longer story to tell, I’m always looking for content for the Leicester Stories podcast, which can give a bit more background to the events or sessions. Who is involved, what’s their reason for taking a lead, and what would residents who live in Leicester get from taking part?
Leicester Stories is supported by funding from the Audio Content Fund, and is being developed in collaboration with De Montfort University and the Documentary Media Centre. If you need more information about the project and it’s aims, please do get in contact.
Decentered Media – Media For Positive Social Change