Hidden Stories is about helping people to share their experiences of what it’s like to live with an illness or condition that can’t be seen. It’s about replacing loneliness, fear and stigma with compassion, understanding and empowerment.
TELLING SOCIETY'S hidden stories
Ninety per cent of people who relate to having a disability don't have any visible symptoms, which often leads to misunderstanding, judgement and isolation.
We want to shine a light on how people live with the many different emotional and physical conditions that are unseen in our communities – from anxiety to autism, OCD to ME. We want to challenge the shame and common prejudices around these struggles. And we want to encourage more compassion in how we see and treat one another.
Hidden Stories is our way of doing just that.
It all started with a series of creative workshops where we empowered people to share their experiences and build mutual support networks. Then, thanks to winning a People's Projects grant (thanks to all who voted), we were able to take Hidden Stories from its birthplace in Brighton to other towns in the south of England, to help even more people tell their stories.
Now we're going to turn all this wisdom into a free illustrated book designed to open up conversation and foster more caring communities.
In the New Year we will be running a series of focus groups to look at the first draft to make this book as relevant and successful as it can be.
where it all began...
At the start of our journey, we helped people with ‘invisible’ illnesses tell their Hidden Stories through a series of creative groups resulting in an interactive exhibition at Brighton Dome. We used storytelling, visual arts and soundscapes to find different ways of exploring and expressing their conditions. This has already made a difference to the participants' lives. It’s helping them to feel more visible and valued within their communities, and more empowered to talk about their experiences without fear of judgement.
Here are some comments about the exhibition at Brighton Dome, as well as snapshot of our creative groups...
The hidden stories blog
Join our support group
We've started an online Hidden Stories community for those living with or affected by invisible conditions and disabilities. As a closed Facebook group, it’s a safe place for sharing stories, asking questions, and for mutual support and solidarity – amongst people who really know how you feel day to day.
Support our work
Hidden Stories is an opportunity to talk about what’s unseen in ourselves and in our communities. Through our work we want to challenge perceptions, combat loneliness and invite people on a playful exploration of what it is to be human. You can support our work ongoing with free donations every time you shop online – just sign up at our easyfundraising page. If you'd like to donate directly, please get in touch.
Join our mailing list for updates on Hidden Stories and to get more involved in the project.
Illustrations copyright of Tinne Luyten 2018. All rights reserved.