Digital Storytelling Programme Launched in East Ayrshire

A new programme has been launched that invites people in East Ayrshire to tell their personal stories, whilst developing important digital skills.


Co-ordinated by Scottish Book Trust, the charity transforming lives through reading and writing, a Digital Storyteller in Residence programme will take place at East Ayrshire Leisure from September 2018 to May 2019.


Statistics show more than one in five adults in Scotland lack basic digital skills¹. This is often due to factors such as poverty, lack of educational qualifications, disability and age. The project will work with people who aren't currently digitally-confident and introduce them to online culture in a way that builds skills and emphasises the personal relevance for them.


Taylor McInroy, East Ayrshire’s newly appointed Digital Storyteller, will support specially selected groups to create their own digital stories about personal experiences important to them. Participants will use digital technology such as tablets, microphones and editing software to produce a narrated story, accompanied by photographs and visual footage. Each story will be narrated and edited by its creator.


Taylor has spent the last four years running Ayrshire Film Company, both creating videos and inspiring others to do the same. The company has helped local organisations such as East Ayrshire Churches and Homelessness Action to tell their stories, as well as giving young people across Ayrshire the opportunity to learn about filmmaking. He is also passionate about voluntary work, working as a Trustee for Kilmarnock Station Railway Heritage Trust which provides opportunities for people to improve their lives. He currently lives in Kilmarnock.


Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “We are delighted to be introducing this project in East Ayrshire. Digital skills are increasingly important for people to navigate all areas of life and connect with others, and by focusing on storytelling, this project makes it accessible to everyone. We all have stories to share, whether it is personal or about a community or a place or time. By capturing these local stories and building skills in the local community, the project will have a long-term impact.”


Kate Forbes, Minister for Public Finance and Digital Economy who officially launched the overarching project of five Digital Storyteller residences across Scotland, said: “I’m delighted to launch Scottish Book Trust’s Digital Storytellers in Residence programme. The importance of this project in building digital skills and providing benefit to wider communities is invaluable.”


Taylor McInroy, East Ayrshire’s Digital Storyteller, said: “I'm delighted to be appointed as the Digital Storyteller for East Ayrshire. An exciting project, I hope to make a real difference within local communities by helping individuals discover more about themselves and develop their digital skills. It is also wonderful that we will be able to create a digital record of stories told by the people of East Ayrshire in their own voices and in their own way. I look forward to seeing people develop both digital skills and improve their wellbeing."


Following a successful pilot of the project in 2017, in Ayrshire and Fife, Scottish Book Trust was funded by the Scottish Government to support Digital Storytelling residencies in five library locations: Leisure and Culture Dundee, East Ayrshire Leisure, Falkirk Community Trust, Inverclyde Libraries, and Orkney Library and Archive.


The project will:


  • Up-skill library staff, local volunteers and community organisations to ensure the work could continue at the end of the residency.
  • Introduce people to the web and help them build their digital skills whilst they learn why it is important for them to be online;
  • Improve basic digital skills amongst participants in a fun and creative way;
  • Ensure groups across the community can access equipment from the library for storytelling purposes;
  • Value the voices and experiences of a range of people from local communities traditionally least likely to participate or be represented in the cultural life and artefacts of the area;
  • Contribute to a living, growing local history resource within the library;
  • Encourage skill-sharing between generations, different parts of the community and between libraries and their audiences.


About Scottish Book Trust


Scottish Book Trust is a national charity changing lives through reading and writing. We inspire and support the people of Scotland to read and write for pleasure through programmes and outreach work that includes:


  • Giving free books to every child in Scotland to ensure families of all backgrounds can share the joy of books at home.
  • Working with teachers to inspire children to develop a love of reading, creating innovative classrooms activities, book awards and author events.
  • Supporting Scotland’s diverse writing community with our training, awards and writing opportunities.
  • Funding a range of author events for the public to enjoy and promoting Scottish writing to people worldwide.   @scottishbktrust


Creative Scotland


In addition to general fundraising, Scottish Book Trust receives Creative Scotland support through Regular Funding.


Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here.  It enables people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life.  It distributes funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery.

For further information about Creative Scotland please visit, and follow @creativescots


[Photo by from Pexels]