A group of people with learning disabilities on a stage

The Community Fund re-opens with a story to tell.

Do you know of an organisation in Somerset that is enthusiastic about inclusivity and making a difference to the local community, but needs a funding hand?

Discovery reinvests 51% of any surplus we make into organisations across Somerset who want to support the health and independence of people with learning disabilities.

Find out about the Community Fund here

OpenStoryTellers is a community arts charity supporting people with learning disabilities and autism. Their Get Connected project has now been funded by Discovery not once, but twice!

Here’s what we love about Open Storytellers:

Two people dressed theatrically smiling at the camera

1. Employing people with learning disabilities and autism

Clemma has autism, she has been a member of OpenStoryTellers for sixteen years and is now also employed at OpenStoryTellers as a Peer Advocate. Her role is to support people to feel comfortable and take part in activities.

2. Helping people find and fulfil their dreams

Michael brims with excitement about the album he is making; he cannot wait to launch it – but even that isn’t enough, he’s planning a sponsored swim the distance of the English Channel – he already has three miles under his life belt!

3. Making information accessible

OpenStoryTellers’ Pigeon Productions team make information easy to understand. They are a team of talented artists, storytellers, animators, musicians and Easy Read specialists; some of whom have learning disabilities or autism.

4. Raising awareness of key issues

As well as undertaking accessibility commissions, Pigeon Productions also produce challenging rights-based storytelling and animation. They are currently working on a series of films for Somerset County Council raising awareness of disability hate crime.

5. Focusing on inclusion

A member of the Pigeon Productions team explains:

“We love pigeons; they are intelligent, resilient birds who, despite their amazing qualities, live on the outskirts of society and are often seen as a nuisance. Some of us understand how it feels to be left out, ignored, and even bullied. Like the pigeon, we can rise above this and communicate our messages to those who will listen or look at our work. Just as pigeons have been sending messages for years (since 776BC) people with learning disabilities have been around forever, and we are going to make sure we are now heard too.”

6. Creating demand for services

A man with learning disabilities looking happy

OpenStoryTellers has grown a strong reputation and the Discovery Community Fund supports their Get Connected project, which means they can open their doors to more people.

The Discovery Community Fund is now open!

It could help you pay for adaptations, training, and other things your organisation might need to become truly accessible to the whole community.

The fund is open to all types of organisations, right across the county. Find out more here.