Introducing our Storyteller
Hello! My name is Michele Nooteboom (clunker of a Dutch surname that sounds like motorhome and translates to nut tree) and I’ve just started a volunteer role at the centre as a PR Assistant.
Primarily my role will be interviewing volunteers and collecting their stories – a story teller.
So, before I ask you for your stories, I’ll tell you a little of mine.
I love reading stories – historical and contemporary biographies mostly.
I grew up reading stories borrowed from Marion Council’s Pitman Library. My little brother and I would be fresh out of our evening bath and warm in our pjs, dressing gowns and slippers when Dad would ask “shall we go to the library?”
Going to the library was also part of my own children’s lives. I was a single parent for many years, starting when my youngest of 3 children was 3 and oldest 10. It was a challenging time in so many ways, but also exciting.
I began a degree in visual arts, worked part time and juggled furiously every single day. I would not have coped without opportunities to share my stories or hear the stories of others.
I now run a small arts-based business called Nuttree Studio. I tell visual stories through my own art and also teach pottery and drawing. During these classes I always marvel how easily stories are shared - often between complete strangers - and new friendships and connections are made.
Our stories don’t have to be published in a book and read by thousands to make them important or relevant. Stories support others and ourselves. Knowing that someone else understands you or passing on your understanding is far more powerful than we realise. It shares a burden or a joy. It opens ways to help and support or celebrate. It encourages understanding, tolerance and empathy.
My role at WMVNC as a storyteller is to gather the stories you want to share – your successes, the journey that brought you here or even just the fun facts that make you you! Some of these stories will be used (with your permission of course) to personalise and promote the Centre and the opportunities that can be found here both for users and volunteers and in turn, further strengthen our community. I look forward to meeting you!