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Submitted by: Unicorn Children's Centre

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions

Posted: Nov 12, 2002 – 11:00 PM EST


Barclays Volunteers In London Sign-Up For Storytelling Project In Local School

Nov. 12 /CSRwire/ - LONDON, England - Unicorn, the UK's award-winning theatre company for children, has recruited a team of volunteers from Barclays, one of the world's leading financial services groups, to take part in a new community project called 'Visual Stories' in London.

Building on the success of Unicorn and Barclays' storytelling project with schoolchildren in 2001, volunteers from the Bank's Media Centre in Soho are returning to the same school this November for another series of workshops. 'Visual Stories' will involve nine members of staff leading storytelling sessions with 60 pupils from St. Clement Danes Primary, a school located in the heart of London's WestEnd.

The three week project starts on 13 November and the volunteers, three of whom participated in the 2001 project, will be learning how to create and tell their own stories to children with the help of professional storyteller Susanna Steele, Senior Lecturer in Primary Education at the University of Greenwich. In December, the Barclays staff will accompany the pupils on a visit to see Unicorn's Christmas production of 'Beauty and the Beast'.

Tony Graham, Unicorn's Artistic Director, said: "Stories are at the heart of theatre: children love to hear them and adults love to tell them. 'Visual Stories' will offer the kids from St Clement Danes and the Barclays volunteers a wonderful opportunity to share in the magic of storytelling. The employees will develop new skills for use in the workplace and, with storytelling having strong links to both the UK's National Curriculum and the National Literacy Strategy, the children will benefit enormously from taking part."

Commenting on the project, Amanda Allchorn, Barclays Community Manager for London, said: “ At Barclays we are committed to communities and we are delighted to support this beacon project. This is a lovely example of how with a little imagination Barclays staff are working closely with the local community to achieve something which we hope will make a real and lasting difference. Not only are they volunteering with the children but at the same time they can learn a new skill and themselves capture the imagination of the children. As other staff seek ideas on how they can develop their own volunteering, we can use this project as a case study of what is possible."

Unicorn's 'Visual Stories' project marks the third year of a creative partnership between the children's theatre company and Barclays. Since 1999, over 6000 children in financial hardship have enjoyed live theatre and the arts through the Group's support of Unicorn's AccessWorks programme.

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