Bridgette Lovatt, Teacher

‘First Story has been a huge success in our school since we ran a trial session two years ago. We have since run two year long residencies which have had an extremely positive impact on our students. First Story is one of the rare projects which has made a genuine difference and had a lasting impact and I already have students asking me if they will be able to take part next year!

Many of the students we work with at Abbey Manor College lack self-confidence and motivation, believing they cannot turn around their lives after being excluded. We work hard to dispel this belief and First Story has helped the students who have taken part to change this negative mindset.

The students have not only begun to believe in themselves through the project but they have also formed new friendships and learnt to interact with students who they wouldn’t normally interact with. They have learnt how to give feedback and support and encourage each other and show respect for differences.

First Story has not only impacted positively on students but at the anthology launch last year it was evident that parents and staff were also immensely proud, a few tears were visible when students read their work and we sold more copies than of the book than we had ordered!’

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