Welcome to.... Story Imaginory South Leicestershire!

Posted by Samantha Jennings on September 29, 2021

Hello!

Wow, how exciting it is to be welcoming you all to Story Imaginory South Leicestershire! I am Sam/Samantha your class leader across South Leicestershire (Market Harborough district/ Borough of Oadby and Wigston).

It has been a rollercoaster of a journey to get to this point and I feel so blessed to have already met and delivered sessions to so many of you already.

I wanted to take the time to introduce myself to all the wonderful families who are either new to Story Imaginory or who may have not had a session delivered by myself before. I really look forward meeting you all along the way.

I love dancing, singing, cooking (and eating!) and spending time with my family and friends.

I am mother to 2 energetic, crazy but wonderful children, who have themselves both enjoyed attending Story Imaginory sessions in the past. They are now both off enjoying school!

Our sessions are fun, friendly and unique and I am so thrilled to have found a business that I wholeheartedly believe in. I really can't wait to guide and be alongside you all - as we explore stories, songs, phonics, British Sign Language and lots of creative activities and play!

Sam x

 

For those who want to know a bit more about me, feel free to read on...

How did I get here?

I met Freya, CEO of Story Imaginory shortly after my first child was born, back in 2015. Our babies were very close in age and my daughter shares the same first name! I soon went along to classes she had begun running in the local area and quickly developed an admiration for the work she was doing (as did my daughter).

Fast forward to a year after the birth of my son and I had been attending what had become 'Story Imaginory' for the best part of 3 years. It was great to be able to take both my children to a session and for them to both get something from it, even at different ages! I was always invested in hearing about Freya's own journey with developing the business and would often chat with her about what was next for Story Imaginory.

I was working for a children's charity at the time, coordinating creative projects across various arts and education settings and over the almost 11 years I was there, I'd developed a keen interest in early years education, which was rooted further after delivering creative projects in Sure Start Children's Centres across Leicestershire. Something also really resonated with me whilst attending various children's groups on maternity leave and I soon realised that this was an area I was keen to explore further.

In 2019, the opportunity came up to attend a recruitment day for Story Imaginory Class leaders and I jumped at the chance! It felt like a big leap, leaving the security of a job to go self employed, but ultimately I knew it was the right thing to do.

I remember delivering my first session in Market Harborough in Jan 2020 and being flooded with this amazing feeling that I was truly in my element and where I was meant to be.

The work was by no means easy. Physically demanding (lifting, carrying etc) and mentally challenging in lots of new ways - how to keep everyone engaged? How to really bring a story to life? Does this song work? How to use the prop to get the best out of it? You give a lot in terms of energy/performance/singing, but ultimately the reward in seeing the children (and adults!) respond and interact is so fulfilling that you are reinvigorated to give the next sessions attendees just as much and ensure they have a fantastic class.

I felt I was just finding my feet with it all when the pandemic hit and the March 2020 lockdown literally pulled the rug from under all of us!

As the reality of the situation sunk in and lockdown carried on, I managed to find other work. Gradually as things started to reopen again (with a few stop/starts and lockdowns in between!) I came back to delivering sessions 2 days a week in Kibworth, alongside my other work.
A year had passed (we all know how it went!) but Story Imaginory proved to be a lifeline to many families - providing escapism, play, ideas and the much needed social interaction. Even with restrictions in place such as mask wearing and social distancing, the magic of the sessions continued to shine through and bring so much joy and richness to the children and their families who attend.

And now here we are! I am delivering more sessions again and have turned my (professional) focus fully back to Story Imaginory.
What the future holds - who knows? But I do know that Story Imaginory has a special place in my heart and I am thankful I can deliver it, for however long it may be! (Fingers crossed a long time!)

Thank you for taking the time to read. I look forward to meeting you, chatting more and making more magical Story Imaginory experiences for everyone :)

Sam x

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