We use stories every day – to help young people make sense of their experiences and to demonstrate the value of our work. But should we take more care around how these stories are gathered and used? And what does best practice look like?

Charis delivered an engaging and interactive session based on short filmed interviews with young people. By sharing material from her own research project, Charis provided insights into the ethics, risks, challenges and opportunities which present when encouraging young people to share their experiences.

These voices provided a sometimes painful and emotional backdrop to the discussion, which also covered the need to explore and understand our own journeys, and how we may have processed our own previous traumas. Delegates were encouraged to consider how this would feel – and under what conditions they would share their own personal stories and painful memories. This was a purposeful and interesting workshop with a focus throughout on the power of relationships, the value of reflective practice and the potential of sharing lived experiences to support both.

Charis Robertson is Assistant Director (Development), Hot Chocolate Trust, a grassroots youth work organisation creating a safe space of ‘home’ and ‘family’ for hundreds of young people in Dundee. She is particularly interested in creative approaches and holistic practice.


Charis Robertson: The Ethics and Impacts of Life Story Approaches (PDF)