Story Shop event helps dispel myths about health issues through personal accounts

Story Shop event at Sutton Academy. Dawn Taylor, a service user telling her story.
Story Shop event at Sutton Academy. Dawn Taylor, a service user telling her story.

A group of storytellers has been helping to dispel myths surrounding alcoholics.

The Story Shop is an initiative run by Nottinghamshire Health Care Trust since 2009. It allows members of the public to listen to the personal stories of those who have experienced stigma and prejudice because of their health issues.

Around 54 students at Sutton Community Academy listened to the storytellers talking about their experiences of alcohol abuse on 20th November.

The session was held jointly with Double Impact in line with Alcohol Awareness Week.

Jonathan Wright, involvement centre manager for Nottinghamshire Health Care Trust, said: “The Story Shop went really well. The big thing for us is that we gained 54 listeners. Since starting out we have reached 3,000 people.

“All those minds have been changed and we have challenged prejudices. Everything is starting to add up.”

Reaching rock bottom and considering suicide was the experience of Sean Murphy after a history of drug and alcohol abuse.

He managed to turn his life around and the 41-year-old is now a drug and alcohol worker employed by voluntary organisation Double Impact.

He said: “Double Impact lit a fire within me and got me involved in my own recovery.”

The next Story Shop is at Nottingham’s QMC in January.