Community Writing

Podsmead Visions and Pride of Gloucester

The Podsmead Visions project is a development of my work in schools, helping pupils get to grips with working together as a group.

When I approached Gloucester City Council with my idea to take this format city-wide with the Pride of Gloucester project, they were very excited, and found funding for a small scale pilot version in the Podsmead area.

Working with a youth group and an older persons art group gave me the inspiration to write a number of short stories about Podsmead’s future.

Funded by Podsmead Big Local, UnLtd and Santander, I produced ‘Podsmead Visions’. The initial idea was to sell the book to raise funds for community activities, but the book has turned out so well that Podsmead Big Local are now approaching World Book Night for match-funding to promote their work by ensuring that EVERY household and business in Podsmead gets a copy. Result!

Pride of Gloucester

Now it’s time to develop the project into a city-wide initiative. Gloucester has an amazing, diverse community which deserves to be celebrated.

Gloucester Citizen Article 9th July 2014

by Maryam Qaiser

Podsmead residents write a book on how they want the area to look


CREATIVE writers in Podsmead have published their own book full of ideas on how they want the area to look in years to come.

Older residents and youth groups in the area joined award-winning novelist Andrew Thorn in a series of writing workshops.

Andrew has launched a project called Pride of Gloucester which aims to inspire writing and to bring together a wide cross-section of stories generated by communities in Gloucester.

Gloucester City Council is identifying groups for Andrew to work with.

They have already funded a pilot project in Podsmead.

Andrew, from Stroud Road, said: “At the workshop I had a chat with the residents who shared their ideas with me on how they want their Big Local Podsmead £1million grant to be spent and we based our stories around that, which are all in one book. It was a real success.

Now Andrew is encouraging more people to let their writing skills do the talking by taking part in the Pride of Gloucester writing project.

Award-winning illustrator Nick Harris, who has illustrated Philip Pullman’s The Firework Maker’s Daughter, has just joined the project as an illustrator.

Workshops with 16 community groups from different cultural backgrounds will enable people to tell their stories. Andrew will then use these as the inspiration for a collection of 16 short stories about the city, linked by an overall story.

The result will be a published book inspired by the community.

There will be a book launch where all the participating groups can attend and share their involvement and enthusiasm with each other.

Andrew added: “I created this project because we have an amazing city, with an astonishing variety of people who have fascinating stories to tell. I’d like this project to encourage pride in our city.”
See the original article at Gloucester Citizen