Mayor asks for your inspirational learning stories

Mayor Marvin Rees and Bristol Learning City partners will be unveiling stories about how learning changes lives for the better from Saturday (27 January) as part of Bristol’s new campaign, #ThisChangedMyLife.

Coinciding with the start of National Storytelling Week (27 January – 3 February), the campaign aims to encourage local people to share a learning experience that has changed their life – in the hope that this might inspire someone else to learn a new skill.

Ahead of the week Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, shared his story of how he learned something which changed his life for the better.

He said:

“My experiences during a tough team training exercise with the Royal Marines when I was younger taught me how I could overcome adversity.

“We were set a task to move buckets of water from one side of a course to the other using short planks of wood and organise the team. This proved much trickier than it might sound and by the end of the day I was just about ready to give up. But my experiences that day taught me that even if you don’t succeed on your first attempt, you can channel your frustration to come back more committed and determined to succeed the next time round.”

Bristol organisations and businesses will be supporting the campaign in a variety of ways. We The Curious will be sharing learning stories from their staff and volunteers on social media using the hashtag #ThisChangedMyLife, as will students from Boomsatuma. BCfm presenters will be sharing their stories on air throughout the week, whilst libraries across the city will have learning displays on show.

Mayor Marvin Rees added:

“Sharing stories of what we’ve learnt is so important to be able to inspire each other to strive to reach better things. From learning in a formal setting to sharing skills with friends and neighbours, all experiences can have a positive impact on someone else’s life. I want people from the city to share their examples of achievements and learning experiences with friends and family next week in the hope that this may motivate someone to learn.”

Local people are invited to get involved with the campaign too. One way they can do this is by sharing their own learning story on social media using the hashtag #ThisChangedMyLife.

Cllr Anna Keen, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills said:

“My most significant learning experience started the day I became a mother. I joined a group for new mums run by local health visitors, formed friendships that have supported me in the new unknown world and crucially, I learnt that no one knows everything. Learning happens day by day, year after year.

“As a Learning City we’re keen to remind people that learning doesn’t stop after you leave education. One of Bristol’s strengths is the diverse range of learning opportunities available and it is never too late to try something new. We can learn new things as part of our everyday life, which I hope this campaign will show. If you have a story of how something you learnt changed your life, I encourage you to share it online and help Bristol to become a city of active and inspired learners.”

Organisations already involved with the campaign include Bristol City Council, We The Curious, WORKS, BCfm Radio, Ovo Energy, Bristol Libraries, Boomsatsuma, Pastles Productions, Develop Me, Ways2Work, Every Child a Reader and Trading with Schools.

For more information about how to get involved, please visit: