Way back in April 2008 we posted on our old blog about Dave Eggers’ inspiring TED talk about his brilliant 826 literacy project, and asked if anyone was going to be setting up something similar in London. On the back of that post, thanks to Andrew Hinton, we met up with the wonderful Lucy Macnab and Ben Payne, and chatted loosely about how a London version of 826 might work. Things pootled along gently for a while, until Lucy and Ben secured support for the project from the Arts Council, as well as seed-funding from the JJ Charitable Trust, and things suddenly stepped up a gear, particularly when author Nick Hornby, who had been thinking about setting up something similar himself, joined the gang.
Cut to November 2010, after many, many, many meetings, and gargantuan efforts from Nick, Lucy and Ben (and a veritable host of others), and this morning saw the launch of the Ministry of Stories on Hoxton Street in east London.
The Ministry follows the model of the 826 centres: a writing centre where kids aged 8-18 can get one-to-one tuition with professional writers and other volunteers; with the centres being housed behind fantastical shop fronts designed to fire the kids’ imaginations (and generate income for the writing centres).
In our case, the shop is Hoxton Street Monster Supplies – Purveyor of Quality Goods for Monsters of Every Kind.
via We Made This