Amar Patel ‘On Monster Monologues we went on quite a journey with the kids’
I am a multi-disciplinary journalist and copywriter that has worked with Lexus, O2 and Channel 4 among others. I also produce projects for social enterprise Soul Labels. We’re like a cross between a record label and a museum.
I have been volunteering at the Ministry for six years now and have mentored on a variety of storymaking sessions and special projects such as Monster Monologues, The Story Engine and Audio Stories.
On Monster Monologues we went on quite a journey with the kids; seeing their ideas take shape after a tentative start was deeply rewarding. The production level on those final films was top-notch.
It’s brilliant when you make that connection with a young person. You’re on the same wavelength, you can bounce off each other together and make suggestions without feeling prescriptive. I’ve always had a soft spot for Jack and even though he can be quite disruptive in sessions, he’s a good kid with a great imagination. He’s produced against the odds. Channelling that mad energy is the big challenge.
I decided to volunteer as I wanted to learn how to work with kids, and to use my interest in writing to help nurture the next generation. Volunteering has made me realise that I too have an imagination! It’s also made me feel more confident in my ability to relate to young people and help them along. It’s also made me more composed and resourceful in challenging situations.
On a basic level, I feel better about the world because the Ministry of Stories is a special place at the heart of the community. It’s powered by people with bags of goodwill.
I hope that at least once over the past six-years a young person may have found the word that completed a line, that built a paragraph, which made a story and kickstarted a lifelong love of writing. All because of those sessions.