65 Nailsea Place Letter to My Grandchild in Photos

Elspeth Penny was thrilled to devise and run a course called “Letter to My Grandchild’ at 65 Nailsea Place, a community venue in the High Street in Nailsea.

Invited by Town Clark Ian Morrell, the course was aimed to get a group of older people together, and learn digital storytelling skills. Everyone made their own books about their own lives from scratch. Participants created tremendous work, with a lot of patience and cooperation, helping each other out, and from a starting place of very little or no technical skills at all. We had a Christmas party to unveil the books. Many of the participants gave copies of the books to family – grandchildren and children for Christmas. Feedback from their families was very touching.

Selected sections of my report after the project finished:

It has been a pleasure to pioneer a new project at 65 Nailsea Place, inviting participants to throw themselves into technology, sometimes for the first time, and to create something creative and satisfying. I’d like to thank 65 Nailsea Place and the staff there for being so helpful and making the group and myself so welcome.

The project has been a pilot project and as such there are successes – 9 beautiful, very ambitious photos books have been created, a lot of skills have been learned and a community has been created (and a Facebook page made for participants to join). We had a lovely pre-Christmas event where participants received their books and shared mince pies and drinks.

All ten participants would recommend a friend to come on the same course, with comments such as “Certainly would” and “I already have, someone in my road, she wants to come”. Participants also expressed that they wanted another ongoing course for themselves.

Everyone, naturally, had sessions that were more pleasurable or useful for them than others. However, those who came regularly and experienced the whole, expressed appreciation at the planning and teaching as seen in comments such as, “It was a great course. Elspeth kept the momentum going well”.

The most rewarding thing of all was to see the end products, the books, and to see the faces of the people when they received them. One participant – Muriel – who had arrived with few technical skills – created a stunning 50 page photobook and has had it printed multiple times for all of her family. And Barbara wrote to me on the Facebook Group that she’d given the books to her grandchildren and they loved it.