Skip to main content

Magical Festival of Stories returns for second year

17 February 2023

A sprinkle of magic will be coming to Cambridgeshire with stories once again brought to life through the second Festival of Stories.

Delivered by Talking Together in Cambridgeshire, the exciting programme of events will run throughout the county from World Book Day on 2 March until World Storytelling Day on 20 March.

There will be lots of fun and exciting story-based activities for families of children from birth to five to join, all of which will include magical stories about bees and how we can help them thrive. The programme will be available on the Festival of Stories website from 20 February 2023.

The festival is being supported by a range of community groups including Active Fenland, Friends of Little Acre Fen Pocket Park, Groundwork East, HomeStart Cambridgeshire, Living Sport, Melbourn Hub, Peterborough Environment City Trust, The Fitzwilliam Museum and the Museum of Zoology. Many events are also being held in partnership with Barnardo’s, Cambridgeshire Child and Family Centres, Cambridgeshire Libraries and Cambridgeshire Skills.

The3Engineers has been keen to support the festival and has provided the illustrations that will be seen throughout, and it will also be holding a live online author event for Reception-aged children. Children’s authors and illustrators Ellie Sandall and Tonka Uzu, and storyteller Marion Leeper, will be sharing stories with families at libraries, child and family centres and other community venues, while storyteller Cassandra Wye will be delivering online storytelling workshops.

Cassandra will be delivering one event ahead of the festival, an online Making Storytelling Open To All workshop which will be held on Monday, 20 February, from 7pm-8pm.

By holding the workshop in advance of the festival, those working in the early years, and parents and carers, will have the opportunity to practice the inclusive storytelling techniques so they can try out the ideas for themselves when sharing stories with little ones during the festival. Places can be booked via the workshop’s Eventbrite page.

Helen Wootton, of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Early Years, Childcare and School Readiness Service, said: “Stories are at the heart of who we are and they belong to everyone - they can be found in the everyday and can help us feel connected and safe.

"We don’t need to be able to read to tell a story, we can simply make up a story based on the illustrations seen in a book. Stories don’t cost anything to tell. What’s more, sharing stories with little ones is a great way of boosting young children’s communication, language and literacy skills!

“We shared lots of stories with families and their little ones last year and we’re looking forward to doing so again in March. We hope that more families and their little ones will get involved in the many exciting activities we have planned this time around.”

Cllr Bryony Goodliffe, chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Children and Young People Committee, added: “Festival of Stories is a brilliant concept and I’m delighted it’s back for a second year.

“Storytelling has so many benefits for a child’s development, and by sparking a love of reading we are giving a gift which can last a lifetime.”

Talking Together in Cambridgeshire offers grants for community-based projects to boost the communication, language and literacy levels of children aged up to five years old through its Storytelling Magic programme. The aim of these events is to shine a light on how stories can be used in fun and interactive ways to bring a sprinkle of magic to the everyday.

More information about the work of Talking Together in Cambridgeshire and the Festival of Stories can be found on its Facebook page.