Catton Grove Community, Norwich

Funded by the Norwich Opportunity Area Community Innovation Fund this project, organised and run by Sarah Power at Curious Spark, will run for the academic year 2019/2020. Incorporating Mantle of the Expert, this community initiative will provide young people, parents and communities with an extensive awareness, knowledge and ownership of the world of work within their neighbourhood and beyond. The project will aim to work with 10-20 family teams who will take part as the ‘WoW’ Catton Grove Experts, with 2-4 people in each family team (to include children from 6-14 years of age).

In this project, the ‘participants’ will be Catton Grove families. Their fictional overall ‘commission’ will be to create a virtual library resource called ‘Speaking Volumes’ which is inspired by the ‘Human Library’ scheme.

‘Speaking Volumes’ will be a virtual library of volunteers who will be identified and interviewed, digitally recorded and filmed to capture their world of work stories. Each ‘Volume’ will be a person who has worked in Catton Grove to support the services and sectors needed to maintain a thriving, healthy and happy community. Such a unique collection of community stories will ensure that the experience of receiving ‘career advice’, especially for young people, will be a tangible experience and representative of the familiar world around them. Furthermore, it is expected that many of the Volume’s stories will highlight how working life does not run in a straight line. Rather the skills people have allow for various jobs to be enjoyed across a lifetime. We anticipate that stories will include examples of uncertainty and changes of mind during study or training. We may hear about enforced career changes, retraining or simply that skills are transferable into many sectors and services within and outside of communities. Each ‘Volume’ will also have details of useful links and advice relating to the roles or careers they have experienced. ‘Speaking Volumes’ will be available free, online, and potentially could be delivered as a living ‘Speaking Volumes’ event for schools, organisations and the community.