‘Tales from a Slow Way,’ Round 2, winners announced!


Last year we launched “Tales from a Slow Way,” a community stories project that enabled us to commission creatives and groups to work together to produce original stories situated around Slow Ways walking routes. We’re happy to announce we’re now able to support a further ten projects!

The stories could cover just about any topic; we just asked that they inspire more people to contribute to and use our network of Slow Ways; walking routes that connect all of Great Britain’s towns, cities and thousands of villages. The stories could take on any format from film, music and art, to photo-essays, zines, and creative writing. 

We were especially keen on seeding stories that will help strengthen and create community; stories that are inclusive and diverse. We wanted to do this to better understand and illustrate the variety of ways people see and connect with Slow Ways. 

As we’ll soon be sharing the stories from the first round – we’re super happy to have received funding from the Pilgrim Trust to support a further ten projects. From all of the incredible applications that we received in the first round, we are now delighted to announce the ten that will be part of our upcoming programme. This project is in partnership with our friends, All the Elements and The Outsiders Project.

Tendring Community Writers X Refugee Action Colchester (RAMA)

Welcoming new neighbours is an important act in building community. Tendring Community Writers will focus on creating a diverse dialogue of cultural exchange between two groups Tendring Community Writers and Refugee Asylum seeker & Migrant Action (formerly Refugee Action Colchester) through a walk from from the village of Kirby-Le-Soken to Walton-on-the-Naze (covering approximately 3.5 miles) discovering hidden secrets along the way of allotments, fields, marinas and pillboxes. The Tendring Community Writers group will document and produce a small pocket-sized booklet or ‘zine’ collating photos, short stories, prose and poetry inspired by or shared on the Slow ways walk, knitting together old stories from home (in Essex or abroad), and creating new stories and experiences together.

Tendring Community Writers is a start-up writers’ community group, meeting once a month and welcome to all writers from across Tendring/North Essex. Tendring Community Writers is open to all styles of writing: creative writing, short stories, poetry, memoirs, children’s writing and more.

Treehouse Theatre X Ilse Black X Dazzarama Drama

Bringing together story-making (Treehouse Theatre), art (Ilse Black), and the learning disabled community (Dazzarama Drama), this new collaboration will use a Slow Ways journey to create a live immersive story, incorporating art, music, sound-scapes, performance and cyanatope illustrations. The aim is to project is to heighten the confidence and ambition of Dazzarama Drama members and create an opportunity for achievement and self-expression. The story and cyanotype illustrations will be brought together in a zine, produced in hardcopy as well as a digital format.

Ben Lindsey-Clark (Treehouse Theatre) works widely with the local disabled community, and is an experienced improviser, story teller and professional actor. He is skilled in weaving together unique devised stories and empowering audiences to discover their creativity. 

Ilse Black is an artist and illustrator delivering community art workshops with the aim of enhancing engagement with the outdoors and nature. Ilse recently completed a year-long collaborative project with Step into Nature through Dorset AONB, where the artists’ collaboration, through delivery, devised new approaches to enabling creative engagement for a diverse audience.

The Adventure Girls Club X Nathalie Baker Film

In collaboration with Nathalie Baker Film, The Adventure Girls Club will tell the story of a club that’s created an inclusive community of outdoors-loving women, who otherwise would have never had the courage to start adventuring. The group is a celebration of taking it slow and taking the time to connect with nature and the people you are experiencing it with, no matter your age, fitness or level of experience. The short doc will follow the club on a Slow Ways hike and tell the stories of a select few regular members. The Adventure Girls Club hope to use this opportunity to inspire other women who are at the start of their journey, sitting at home, and need a little push to make that first move and join a community like ours.

Launched in 2021, The Adventure Girls Club began as guided weekend hikes for women in the South West, with a focus on making them accessible for everyone through support, community, training and experience to gently build confidence and the freedom to explore the outdoors.

Sawsan X Scope Charity Shop, Colwyn Bay, North Wales

A charity shop brings together people from all walks of life, and this is true for the Scope charity shop in Colwyn Bay, run by a lively group of volunteers with a diverse set of lived experiences. This group of volunteers walk the sandy coastline between Colwyn Bay and Conwy Castle at least once a year, primarily, to raise funds for their Scope which they have immense pride in, but also for their mental and physical health and to spend time with other local people. Sawsan, whose mother is the co-Manager of the shop, hopes to document their annual walk through a feature-length story illustrated with professional photographs and portraits.

Sawsan is a Guardian award-nominated journalist, writer, and Consultant Storyteller at the Blagrave Trust. Her work has utilised walking when writing profiles about people in the past; namely, during the refugee crisis, where she walked alongside and interviewed refugees in transit in Berlin, Milan and Athens.

Colwyn Bay

Curious School of the Wild CIC

Tackling rural poverty with creativity, Curious School of the Wild will co-create a film in collaboration with the young people in Bodmin they work with, who seek out inspiration and the benefits of outdoor activities against a backdrop of deprivation and austerity. “Rural poverty is often misunderstood,” writes founder, Nik Elvy, “ Despite our beautiful countryside and coastlines many Primary School children have never visited the beach let alone our AONB moorland”. The group will walk from Bodmin town centre to Bodmin Moor by foot, and will create a film to share on youtube and social media. They will create sketch books of our journeys that will feature in the film and in a public exhibition at Basecamp in Bodmin Town Centre.

Nik Elvy is an artist, educator and  founder of Curious School of the Wild CIC.  The CIC was created to support others to enjoy good outdoor lives particularly by challenging low income and poverty barriers to outdoor access in Bodmin.  They have opened Basecamp in Bodmin Town Centre as a community space with a kit library, books, maps, events clothing and food and refreshment all for free.  

Basecamp Curious School of the Wild, Bodmin

St Germain’s Community & Wellbeing Hub

“I want our community story to deepen the connection between these groups as they learn about each other’s journeys, and about the journeys of the past and bring this rich cultural diversity into Birmingham’s outdoor spaces”

Birmingham-based St Germain’s Community & Wellbeing Hub is an intercultural community with a huge range of ethnic, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds. Some have lived there their whole life and know the area intimately. Others have journeyed thousands of miles, ‘ended up’ there, and have made the area home. Despite intimate knowledge of their local area, living in a city of cars means both groups are apprehensive of exploring new outdoor routes. Using interviews, music, instruments and writing exercises to create lyrical material along the Slow Ways, St Germain’s will create a sonic tapestry, expressing these new connections to each other and the outdoors.  

St Germain’s Community & Wellbeing Hub music project aims to improve the physical and mental well-being of people experiencing hardship in Edgbaston and Ladywood, as well as improving self-esteem, confidence, and skills. 

Fred Hargreaves X Pete Naylor X Ruth Dillon X Wild Ken Hill

Providing valuable insight into the experience of journeying through a landscape from the point of view of a partially-sighted walker, Director of Photography Pete Naylor and programmer Ruth Dillon will work with 17 year old Fred Hargreaves and his companion to produce a short film and audio podcast documenting a Slow Way from his point of view. As part of the project, there will be a guided tour programme at Wild Ken Hill, with walks for partially-sighted and blind people and their guests who wish to come and experience the landscape with a guide. The experienced guides will be on hand to help with species identification and give insight into the conservation and re-wilding work taking place. 

Pete Naylor is a director and DOP based in North Norfolk. His work focuses on creating emotive lifestyle based imagery, often inspired by the natural world and the adventures that can be found within the great outdoors. 

Ruth Dillon is an experienced freelance commissioner and programmer. Working with writers, performers and creatives to engage audiences with landscapes and conservation. She is Director of Gathering at Wild Ken Hill which first took place in 2022. 

Wild Ken Hill a family-run farm in coastal West Norfolk comprising areas managed regenerative farming, rewilding and traditional conservation. Its mission is to fight climate change, restore nature, and provide benefits to the local community. Engagement and education are at the heart of what they do. 

Laura Graham X The Happy ‘Hood zine

The Happy `Hood zine is grass-roots produced and incorporates art and words from a diverse cross-section of Northampton, with over 250 contributors across 19 issues. Founding editor Laura Graham aims to produce a special Slow Ways feature for the zine and an accompanying podcast episode through a series of community walks for Northampton residents.  Walking from the River Nene to Wollaston by foot, the group will create create poetry, art and stories that will explore the benefits and impacts of the Slow Ways routes.The podcast will let the audience hear from people outside this narrow scope and encourage wider, on-going community participation. The aim is to encourage people to get involved, especially those who are often excluded and marginalised when it comes to access to walking and green spaces. 

Laura Graham is a Freelance writer, content creator and community activist. Laura set up a community project almost five years ago which produces a quarterly good news zine called The Happy `Hood. The zine is grass-roots produced and incorporates art and words from a diverse cross section of Northampton, and aims to provide a platform for different communities against the backdrop of underfunding.

Jonny Kemp X SE25

Jonny Kemp’s portraiture has previously celebrated South Norwood, SE25 and the people in it, through the depiction of 40 business owners, volunteers, and other community groups from the area, in an exhibition at the Stanley Arts Centre. In this project, Jonny will draw the portraits of people who have lived on or very close to the Slow Ways route that runs between Crystal Palace and Croydon with the aim of celebrating the history and people of the area, in a part of the country which often receives a lot of negative press.  Notable figures include Ira Aldridge, regarded as one of the first black actors to enact Shakespearian characters, and Ethel Fennings, a suffragette who stood by South Norwood clock tower campaigning for women to get the vote in the early 20th century. 

Jonny Kemp is a South Norwood resident, teacher and an exhibiting artist working with fine liner and technical drawing pens. He has a deep interest in the history of the local area, and commitment to volunteering with the belief that the local and the locals should be celebrated.

Nisha Kotecha X Good News Shared

Walking along the Chapeltown to Sheffield route, Nisha will speak to individuals and organisations about recent acts of kindness and community spirit they have witnessed or been involved in. The route takes in some of the most deprived and diverse areas in Sheffield, such as Burgreave and Parsons Cross, where less than 16% of over-16’s hold a level four or above qualification (the highest area in Sheffield has 64%). These areas, like most of North Sheffield which this route is mainly in, only tend to be mentioned in the media for negative reasons when alternative stories also exist.  The stories with accompanying photos will be collated in an online zine. 

Nisha Kotecha has been sharing uplifting, charitable stories for almost a decade via her website, Good News Shared. In 2017, she was included in The Independent’s Happy List, a collection of ‘50 inspirational heroes and heroines whose kindness, courage and selflessness make our country a better place to live’.

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Slow Ways
Slow Ways is an initiative to create a national network of walking routes connecting all of Great Britain’s towns and cities as well as thousands of villages. It’s designed to make it easier for people to imagine, plan and go on walking journeys, walking further and for more purposes.