Making A Brew (2006)


How do you tell a story when hundreds of people are involved; when each person may know a different part of the story; they might see the same things differently; they might disagree.

Seacroft Surestart was remarkably successful. All the figures told you so. But no-one could really tell you why it was successful. And this was a story that needed to be told...


It was a simple process of listening to a large number of people in lots of different situations; interviews and discussions as well as encouraging them to write themselves. And then sitting back with all the material and crafting a narrative from the different pieces. Creating a book that could be read from beginning to end, but still made sense if you dipped in, or you chose to look at the pictures and read only the titles.


The partnership was with Seacroft Surestart; a partnership initiated by Chris Peat, who had worked with us on the 2000 Lines project in East Leeds, he was now advising Surestart and mentoring their managers. He understood the importance of making sense of what had been achieved to-date.


Funding came from Surestart but with third party funding from Unilever and the Childcare Partnership.

The project came at a crucial time for both the organisation in Seacroft and for Surestart nationally, as the government tried to assess the impact of the work. Future. Then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, wrote the introduction.

I didn't find Sure Start, they found me. And now, looking back I'm so grateful they did. I was at the point in my life when I was really beginning to despair. Now I have a relationship with my son, and I'm much more capable of handling situations. I have hopes for the future

one of many contributors to ...

Making a Brew

What We Learned

The Surestart project allowed us to put the many different elements that we had been developing together: authored narrative, use of different art-forms, reflective work to a pre-defined community.

Our work was to put these fragments together, into a whole, whilst respecting the individual narratives and their authors.

The role we talk about is of the 'accompanist'; an under-valued skill–the ability to be present; to relish both leading and following as appropriate.

The image that summed up the project. Photographer Katy Hayley