Minister of the Month – Kate Swordy
Meet our Minister of the Month Kate Swordy!
Kate lives on a narrowboat, greedily consumes stories and helps support our junior ministers as a writing mentor.
Name: Kate Swordy
Volunteer role: writing mentor
Lives: On the canal
Favourite story and why
Impossible to choose one, but let’s say Midnight’s Children for all the stories woven together.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I have lived in London for 4-years now and have recently moved onto a narrowboat, where all my neighbours are friendly and helpful.
I enjoy the slowing of time and inspiration that comes with the flowing of water, and the lack of bills to pay, which gives me more time to be creative and concentrate on more important things like children’s imagination.
I also greedily consume stories and when I’m feeling more generous, love to share them with others – little and big children alike.
Why did you decide to volunteer with Ministry of Stories?
A friend suggested that it was a wonderful place. I wanted to work creatively with children and young people, and to work alongside other grown-ups who shared my ethos in doing this.
I have stuck with them for the past few years because they are true to their word, the children are treated with respect.
The Ministry recognise the value of the work produced by the children; selling their stories in the shop is one way in which they show this to the world.
Were you nervous about anything before starting?
Yes I always get nervous talking to a new group, but the participants were so courageous and open in sharing their ideas that I had to try myself.
What has been the best experience of volunteering?
I have had the pleasure of witnessing some fantastic stories being spun – some fantastical, some beautiful, some hilariously funny.
What has been the most unexpected thing about volunteering?
I have worked with children quite a bit before and I am constantly surprised by their creative powers, by their depth of understanding, by their courage to express themselves. So I suppose after all these years I shouldn’t be surprised any more. But in creative groups like this, you should always expect the unexpected.
Describe the Ministry of Stories in three words
Free, nurturing, empowering
What would you say to other people thinking of volunteering with the Ministry?
You will get so much out of the experience of being a part of this group. If you are open, and listen, you will learn so much from the children – they are so generous. And you will probably laugh lots, which is beneficial to your health.