New member of the Ministry of Stories family opens in Yorkshire

29 February 2016

Grimm & Co launches a new writing and mentoring centre for children and young people in Rotherham today, inspired by the Ministry of Stories. Grimm & Co’s mission is to be a writing and mentoring space, helping young people to think in new ways, acquire skills and realise their potential through the joyful discovery of stories and the development of their imagination.

The new charity is part of the Ministry of Stories family, and has used the same concept of a workshop and mentoring centre fronted by a magical – but real – shop.  Grimm & Co is an ‘Apothecary to the Magical’, selling wild schemes, evil plots, charms, curses and kitchenware, including ‘giant belly button cleaners’ for removing pesky stray chickens and ‘suspension of disbelief’ (a best-seller amongst fairies).

Since 2013, the Ministry has provided strategic support and advice to Grimm & Co as it gathered momentum. As part of the family the two charities will work in partnership, sharing skills and experience,  methodology and evaluating impact, with the aim of supporting more children across the country with their writing.

It is expected that over 1,300 young people will be able to take part in writing classes in the first year of Grimm & Co through story making workshops, school writing programmes, after school clubs and holiday camps for 7-18 year olds.  Gavin Sharp, a teacher from St Bede’s school who visited with his class said, “I found it fascinating and absolutely refreshing to see the children positively run to the final writing table”.

Grimm & Co founder Deborah Bullivant said: ‘Rotherham has been through the mill in recent years in terms of perception, and the latest convictions for child abuse last week have made matters worse. What we aim to show is that there is much more to Rotherham. The real Rotherham that I know has amazing community spirit and some great talent.  We are providing a place which is dedicated to building aspirations, writing, creativity and inspiring the future of Yorkshire’s next generation.’

Writer and trustee, Jeremy Dyson has written Grimm & Co’s background story of how it all began. He said: “When I was a kid growing up in Leeds, I hungered for anything that fuelled my imagination. You knew such places existed in London – but closer to home they were much rarer. Grimm & Co would have blown my young mind, and I know it can inspire and champion the creativity of every child who passes through its magical doors.”

Grimm & Co supporters include:  Arts Council England, Big Lottery – Reaching Communities, Clore Duffield Foundation and Paul Hamlyn Foundation.  Local schools, community members and universities are welcoming this new and exciting story destination to Rotherham.  The project has been created with support from local businesses, including Side by Side who have gifted over £90,000 of their time to create the branding, design and keep it true to the background story.

Find out more about Grimm & Co’s funders and programme

Background of the Ministry of Stories

NEXT PAGE: Ministry of Stories and Penguin Random House UK partner to help young people meet their creative potential