About Share Your Story

Share Your Story is a not for profit group in Brighton and Hove that provides a space to hear people's stories in order to inspire us to live better ones ourselves.

Gathering around a theme, we hear from a diversity of people with a diversity of stories. We refuse to paint a false picture by simply hearing stories of unbridled success, endless victories and perfection because we know these are only half stories at best. We want to share real stories, of success and failure, of growth and struggle, of inspiration and industry. Each month we invite people to share their story, both those whose stories are often told - because a good story deserves to be repeated - as well as those who don't usually get a chance to be heard - because the quietest voices are sometimes the most beautiful.

People's stories are powerful. They can inspire, inform, re-assure and challenge us. They can impact us on a personal, professional, creative and spiritual level. They can resource our own stories, help us to look at the world from a different perspective, encourage us to step out into the things we'd always dreamed of and cause us to think in new ways. 

Our hope is that through connecting with these stories and the people you meet through SYS, you will go away ready to live a better story yourself. 

Live A Better Story

Share Your Story is about hearing stories. But it is also about all of us living better ones ourselves. 

Each day we write our stories. Whilst we may not be able to write all the circumstances, we choose the characters, the plots, the themes and above all the actions of the main protagonist - us. We choose to tell ourselves many varying things about our stories and our ability to shape and write them. Perhaps in your story you see barriers that prevent you from living the way you would choose, or destructive characters that get in the way, or maybe things are laid out neatly and the path ahead appears clear.

The reality is that in a good story the main character is surrounded by many characters, both good and bad. They face barriers to be overcome, difficulties and pain to be negotiated but there is always an end in sight and we celebrate or weep or laugh when we turn the final page to find the story's conclusion. And whether the character got what they wanted or not, they grow through the experience, what they want changes, how they understand and see things adjusts and they are different to who they were when they set out.

The elements of a meaningful story also make a meaningful life. 

Share Your Story is an invitation to step out of the shadows and into your own story, or to continue down that path, in the context of an encouraging and welcoming community of people each writing their own stories. We are committed to helping people on that journey, so if you have a story you are waiting to start but don't know where to, or if you're stuck somewhere in the middle or if you just want a helping hand along the way, or if you don't know what you want your story to be about and want to dream aloud with someone, then we want to help with that. If you'd like to meet up with one of the Share Your Story team to talk about any of this stuff then we'd love to help out. Get in touch with a bit about yourself, what you're up to and your availability for meeting and we'll get back to you with a time and place.

Share Your Story is about hearing stories. But it is also about all of us living better ones ourselves. 

Each day we write our stories. Whilst we may not be able to write all the circumstances, we choose the characters, the plots, the themes and above all the actions of the main protagonist - us. We choose to tell ourselves many varying things about our stories and our ability to shape and write them. Perhaps in your story you see barriers that prevent you from living the way you would choose, or destructive characters that get in the way, or maybe things are laid out neatly and the path ahead appears clear.

The reality is that in a good story the main character is surrounded by many characters, both good and bad. They face barriers to be overcome, difficulties and pain to be negotiated but there is always an end in sight and we celebrate or weep or laugh when we turn the final page to find the story's conclusion. And whether the character got what they wanted or not, they grow through the experience, what they want changes, how they understand and see things adjusts and they are different to who they were when they set out.

The elements of a meaningful story also make a meaningful life. 

Share Your Story is an invitation to step out of the shadows and into your own story, or to continue down that path, in the context of an encouraging and welcoming community of people each writing their own stories. We are committed to helping people on that journey, so if you have a story you are waiting to start but don't know where to, or if you're stuck somewhere in the middle or if you just want a helping hand along the way, or if you don't know what you want your story to be about and want to dream aloud with someone, then we want to help with that. If you'd like to meet up with one of the Share Your Story team to talk about any of this stuff then we'd love to help out. Get in touch with a bit about yourself, what you're up to and your availability for meeting and we'll get back to you with a time and place.

People

Share Your Story was started by Dave Perrins and Cedar Shaw, with support from Upstream Ideas, in summer 2015.

We run the community as a small team and welcome suggestions, input and help from all. Everything is still very much taking shape, and is at an exciting and fluid stage, so if you think that you might be someone who could help shape Share Your Story for the better then we'd love to hear from you. We need all kinds of help (!), from running and planning events to helping to filming them, the ability to write well to being able to listen and talk to people, setting up PA equipment to publicity and everything else in between.

Want to find out more about us? The founders and core team have each answered five questions over here - Tell us your story in 100 words or less, why did you get involved with Share Your Story?, what have you done with Share Your Story?, how do you want your own personal story to unfold over the next few years? and what would be your dream 3 person (living or dead) line-up at a Share Your Story? It's a good read.

FAQ

Are you part of a bigger organisation?

No. We stand alone as a simple network of people running a website and regular event. At this stage it's not a complex setup so we don't have a need for real organisational structure. We have strong ties with Upstream Ideas, who are a fantastic local group helping people to get things they are passionate about off the ground. They've helped us a lot and we would recommend checking them out.

How do you make money?

We are a not for profit organisation, and we're not out to make money. All of our events are pay what you feel. Two thirds of that money is shared equally between the people who are sharing their stories (they all volunteer their time and don't get paid any fixed fee) and we use the other third to pay for our costs. We have also received a small amount of money from Upstream Ideas to get things off the ground and to allow us to avoid charging a fixed fee for our events.

Do I need to book in advance for events?

No, we don't offer any kind of advanced booking for events, just show up on the night. If you want to tell us your coming via our Facebook events or on Twitter, that's helpful to give us a rough idea of how many to expect, and it helps Redwood plan for how many staff they will need. 

How much do the events cost to attend?

We want all our events to be accessible to everyone, and for cost not to be a barrier to coming along so all our events are on a Pay as you Feel basis - there's no fixed charge and you give whatever you feel suitable from nothing to lots. As outlined above that money is split between the speakers and our costs. 

How do you choose who speaks at events?

We simply ask local people who we've heard about, who have interesting stories. The limitation of that is that we need to have heard about them before we can ask them. If you know of someone who has an interesting story to share (it doesn't have to be one of unending success and innovation, it can be anyone) then please get in touch.

Can anyone speak at events?

Our events aren't open mic - there are a handful of chosen speakers who are invited to share. We might try an open mic event at some point in the future, if that's something you'd be interested in then let us know.

I want to share my story - how can I do that?

Simple. Get in touch with us and tell us your story. We'll have a chat and figure out the best way for you to be able to do that - either via the webpage or at one of our events. One of our foundational values is that everyone's story is significant, so we'd love to hear yours!

I want to get involved with making this happen - how can I do that?

There are so many ways that this can work. We need a wide variety of help to make Share Your Story events to happen and to spread what we're all about. So if you've got any skills to offer then get in touch and we can talk about how you can get involved. If you don't feel like you have any particular skill to bring to the table, we'll bet you're wrong and that there is. We'll find what it is and get you doing that. 

I don't have time to help on a regular basis, is there any other way I can help out?

Yes. First and foremost, come along to our events, chat to people when you're there, share your story and encourage others to live the best one they can themselves. Secondly we'd really appreciate it if you'd tell people about us and what we have going on. We want everyone who this could help to find out about it so tell people, share it on Facebook, tweet about it, send a carrier pigeon, anything - we would be appreciative of any method you choose of spreading the word. 

Can you recommend any books or videos about living a better story?

The book that inspired us to start this whole thing off, was A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. The book comes at the subject of how we can all live better stories from the perspective of someone of faith, but isn't heavy about it and regardless of belief there is something inspiring and encouraging for everyone. We'd highly recommend it. 

I want to talk to someone about how I can live a better story, can I meet up with someone?

Absolutely, and it's free. For more information on that, click here.