Community groups and schoolchildren set to welcome the Queen and Duchess of Sussex to Chester Storyhouse next week
Community groups and schools from around Chester will welcome Her Majesty the Queen accompanied by The Duchess of Sussex, as they formally open Storyhouse next Thursday.
The events to mark this official opening will be a celebration of a typical day at Storyhouse, where scrabble clubs and writing workshops meet alongside groups combatting social isolation, as well as a taste of what goes on in its popular theatre.
Over the past few years, libraries across the country have closed their doors, but by working closely with the local community, the library at Storyhouse is thriving – and in its first year loaned 258,000 books and increased children’s book loans by 50% since Chester’s main library moved to Storyhouse.
Some of the community groups who meet regularly at Storyhouse have been invited to participate in the events on 14 June and include:
- Storyhouse Young Leaders: local young people aged between 14-25 who work across the organisation to develop new skills
- Syrian Refugee Women’s Group: supported by forfutures
- Digital Buddies: a free IT skills workshop and drop-in for anyone over 50, led by young volunteers
- Improv Gym (weekly drama workshop for the over 50s)
- Fallen Angels Dance Company: Storyhouse Associate Company working with individuals recovering from addiction
- Storytelling by a Police Community Support Officer and Deafness Support Network
Pupils from a dozen local schools will join the community groups as part of the royal visit to Storyhouse.
Police Community Support Officer, Eva Williams will be in the storytelling room located in the children’s library The Den, reading to a group of under 5s from Chester. And Erica Jones from Deafness Support Network will sign a story in BSL.
Andrew Bentley, chief executive of Storyhouse said:
“This amazing visit has been made possible by the tremendous support we have in Chester and in the region and is testament to the degree to which our community has taken us to their hearts and for that we are immensely grateful and proud.”
Alan Smith, Project officer for Digital Buddies:
“Every Friday morning since 2017 Digital Buddies has facilitated digital help for the over 50s and been meeting in Storyhouse. Initially a six-week project, the sessions have become a place for younger and older people to learn and impart digital skills, as well as a social hub.
The use of the meeting room at Storyhouse has enabled us to grow. It is fantastic that Storyhouse has been recognised and that a royal visit will take place.”.
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