#HoxtonHotspots: Q&A – The Ministry of Stories
Hoxton-based the Ministry of Stories is a writing and mentoring charity making a difference to the lives of local people aged eight to eighteen.
We recently caught up with Lottie Rugg-Easy to find out more about their work and get some top-tips for the local area!
How did the Ministry of Stories come about and how long have you been operating?
The Ministry of Stories was founded by Lucy Macnab, Ben Payne and best-selling author Nick Hornby who wanted to create a space for young people to discover the joy of the written word. The centre was inspired by 826 Valencia and resides behind its own fantastical shop Hoxton Street Monster Supplies, which has been selling goods such as Cubed Earwax and Thickest Human Snot to London Monsters since 1818. All proceeds from the shop go back into our work at the Ministry.
Can you talk us through what you do?
Through a range of innovative writing clubs, and one-to-one mentoring, we help young people discover and realise their own creative potential. Children in our writing clubs have worked on short films, poetry, a newspaper and even founded their own country; The Children’s Republic of Shoreditch. We also run writing clubs in local schools.
What do the children who visit the Ministry of Stories get out of a session?
Ministry of Stories is a place where young people can explore their imagination and develop a love of writing for pleasure. We provide a space where children can gain confidence, grow in self-respect and learn new skills. We’re inspired by young people and our publishing platforms make sure their voices are heard. At the end of every term, all our young writers can leave with a piece of work they are proud of.
What does the future hold for the Ministry of Stories?
We have more writing clubs starting in schools in 2019, allowing us to reach even more children through the power of writing. Clubs at our centre will work on poetry and performance, developing performing skills alongside their writing. We will be continuing to deliver our letters through our Hoxton Street Monster Supplies Postal Service, in which humans can write letters to a Yeti, Dragon, Mummy, Werewolf, Vampire or a Monster in the Cupboard.
How can people get involved?
We are always looking for volunteer writing mentors and shopkeepers. Mentors offer a listening ear to the young people and champion their ideas. Shopkeepers help monsters and the odd human to choose the right products. As a charity we are always looking to engage with new supporters and donors who can enable us to continue to fund our work with young people.
Where is your favourite place to eat in Hoxton?
When I am not snacking on Brain Food or Cubed Earwax I can usually be found eating a cheese and spinach Turkish gozleme from the food truck opposite Hoxton Street Monster Supplies - they are so delicious!
Do you have any other recommendations for the area?
Hoxton Street Community Garden! It is a moment of peace in the hectic city, I like to go there and eat my gozleme and read some of the brilliant, funny, inspiring stories written by the young people who attend our clubs.
The brilliant the Ministry of Stories is located nearby Anthology’s Hoxton Press development with a selection of one, two- and three-bedroom homes available to move in to now. For further information on the homes available call 020 3308 9813.