Our Stories Project

is creating Community storytelling experiences

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Your generous support will help keep the project going and growing. 

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This regular commitment keeps helps us keep scheduling interviews, building community and forging partnerships that will help the project grow.

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Wow! You can really see the value of collecting oral history and delivering it for visitors. Your contribution will really help this project pick up steam!




As I helped 98-year-old Gwen into the school, she looked at me with apprehension. “I don’t know if I’ve got anything of interest to say,” she said.

Fifteen minutes later, I smiled to myself at the scene. Three distractable 12-year-old boys in hoodies were sitting wide-eyed around the table, enraptured by the softly-spoken great grandmother as she recounted incredible details of her life in a modest and matter-of-fact tone.

Gwen was born in Lyttelton in 1919 and had lived to see her father, brother and husband to the Second World War (all three returned, thankfully). Gwen’s family had survived nine months of port strikes with the income she made by taking the train to Christchurch each day to work in a garment factory. 

When the interview had finished, Gwen looked a little relieved. “Those boys were really lovely,” she said and I detected a subtle note of surprise in her voice. If that hour together sharing stories could change the way Gwen understood teenage boys and the way teenage boys understood a frail older woman, then the Our Stories Project would be a success in my mind.

But this is just the beginning. Since 2016, school children have been interviewing people who grew up in Lyttelton. Each time, this creates a new connection for this community - and a new understanding of this place. We record each interview and now we have mapped the first set of stories to the places they relate to.

Locals and visitors can hear the many versions of the legend of the Goat Man as they stroll the cemetery he was said to haunt. You can look over the dry dock and hear of the days when kids would swim, play and fish there after school. 

There are stories of mischief and tragedy and storms. These are the stories of everyday life, from ordinary people - and yet they are nothing short of extraordinary.

Our Stories Project aims to connect communities and to bring places alive with stories.

My name is Kris Herbert and I started Our Stories Project three years ago. In November 2018, we released the  first 13 experiences via the web app. The stories are also available as iOs and Google Play native apps. 

We have only scratched the surface. There are many more stories to hear, many more people to connect and many more places to bring to life.

The vision for our stories is to give any community the tools to connect and collect stories so they can be curated for places.

Your support can make this happen. Funding will allow us to hire interview coordinators and audio editors so that the project, the benefits and the experiences can grow. Our Stories is a not-for-profit project. All funding and donations goes directly into the work of collections stories and making them available to anyone.

For more information, visit www.ourstoriesproject.org

Thank you for believing in the power of storytelling!
0 of 10 patrons
With as little as 10 patrons a month, giving $5 or more, we can keep interviews going - connecting people through the process of sharing their stories. This is an incredible valuable experience for both sides. And we're able to record the interviews as an oral history.
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