Students of all ages at Great Bowden Academy were left spellbound following a series of live storytelling sessions to round off National Storytelling Week, which were organised by leading Midlands housebuilder Mulberry Homes as part of the company’s Distinctly Local 2020 vision.
The luxury new homes developer, which has two developments in Great Bowden – sold-out Hursley Park, and Heathcote Grange – invited professional storyteller Richard York, a member of the Society for Storytelling, to the village primary school close to Market Harborough for a morning of magical stories.
With his harp and hurdy gurdy for accompaniment, Richard York told traditional tales to groups of children from Reception up to Year 3. The sessions were arranged to mark the annual awareness week, which allows children and adults alike to experience first-hand how oral storytelling has enabled stories to survive and evolve over thousands of years.
Rebecca Blagburn, Head of Great Bowden Academy, said: “We would like to offer our sincere thanks to Mulberry Homes for arranging Richard’s fantastic visit to our school. The children absolutely loved it and were laughing, cheering and clapping throughout. It was great to be part of Mulberry Homes’ involvement with the Great Bowden community.”
Kerry Jones, Head of Sales at Mulberry Homes, said: “It was a pleasure to be able to organise this live storytelling event for the children at Great Bowden Academy. Making a positive difference in the communities close to where we build is hugely important to us as a company, and National Storytelling Week is a brilliant opportunity to help encourage schoolchildren to enjoy reading, listening and learning.”
Richard York, a professional storyteller, musician and qualified teacher, commented: “I enjoyed working with Great Bowden Academy, and the children quite obviously enjoyed the stories and music, too.
“Traditional storytelling is both enjoyable and culturally extremely important: the kernels of many stories have survived for hundreds, even thousands, of years, only because they address a deep need in people of all ages – adults who accompany the children so often become wrapped up in listening as well.“I am delighted that Mulberry Homes has created this opportunity for me to share some stories with the children, who have been encouraged to re-tell them, and so pass them on.”
‘Distinctly Local – Strengthening and Connecting Communities’ is Mulberry Homes’ new commitment to sustainability, influencing how it selects new development sites, designs and builds its homes and interacts with its customers, neighbours and local partners.
The initiative, which has recently been implemented at several of Mulberry’s developments across Leicestershire and the wider Midlands, will see a selection of local schools, organisations and charities chosen to receive practical and financial support in the form of collaborations or donations. A calendar of events can be viewed here: mulberryhomes.co.uk/news/our-events.
To learn more about National Storytelling Week, go to www.sfs.org.uk/national-storytelling-week.
Further information about Richard York’s work can be found on his website: www.taleteller.co.uk.