Stories2Connect is an interdisciplinary participatory research project working with disadvantaged children and young people to tell stories about their lives. 

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council from 2015 to 2018, the children and young people interviewed one another, and together with a range of community writers, artists, and students, created a series of fictionalised stories and videos. These have been made into storybooks and placed in storytelling machines co-designed with the young people.

In 2019 we are excited to have won an award from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to create an interactive film about the project. We are working on this to be ready by the end of 2020.

A range of further research projects using storytelling are also underway.

Contact Dr Candice Satchwell for details.

Project Lead/Contact: Dr Candice Satchwell

Project Staff: Dr Cath Larkins

Clients or Funders: AHRC

Timeline: 2015 - 2020

Social Media: Twitter / Facebook

Further information

Collaborators and Partners

  • Barnardo’s Charity
  • Innovation Design Lab, Lancaster University
  • Professor Bernie Carter, Edge Hill University
  • Dr Gail Davidge, Manchester University


  • Young people involved have grown in confidence and skills.
  • The stories have been recognised as useful resources for teachers, social workers, charity workers, counsellors and others who work with children experiencing challenges.

Public Outputs


Publications from the research include:

Satchwell, C. (2018) ‘Collaborative writing with young people with disabilities: raising new questions of authorship and agency’Literacy.

Satchwell, C. and Davidge, G. (2018) ‘The mismeasure of a young man: an alternative reading of autism through a co-constructed fictional story’, Qualitative Research in Psychology, Special Edition on Creative Representations in Qualitative Research. 

Satchwell, C. (2019 in press) ‘My two words? Creative energy.’ Engaging students in a participatory story-making research project with disadvantaged young people. Student Engagement in Higher Education, Special Issue on Creativity for Student Engagement: Purpose, Process, Product.

Satchwell, C., Larkins, C., Davidge, G., Carter, B. (under review 2019) ‘Making meaning through fictional writing with disadvantaged young people: stories as findings in collaborative research data analysis.’ Submitted to Qualitative Research.

Larkins, C., Satchwell, C., Davidge, G., Carter, B., Crook, D. (under review 2019) ‘Working back to the future: learning from children and young people’s perspectives on resilience, capabilities and overcoming adversity.’ Submitted to Child and Family Social Work.

Satchwell, C. (2019) Fictionalised stories co-produced with disadvantaged children and young people: uses with professionals. In Christine Jarvis and Patricia Gouthro (eds) Professional Education with Fiction Media. Imagination, Engagement and Empathy in Learning. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Satchwell, C., Watson, D., et al. (2018) Collaborative Fiction Writing with Community Groups: A Practitioner Guide. Published by AHRC.

Satchwell, C. (2019) Starting as you mean to go on: including young people in a participatory research project in the UK. Case study in Banks, S.J. and Brydon-Miller, M. (eds) Ethics in Participatory Research for Health and Social Well-Being: Cases and Commentaries. London: Routledge.