FOLIO awarded £9500 for a major digital storytelling project

We’re delighted to announce that FOLIO has been awarded a major grant, worth just over £9500 to run an exciting and innovative digital storytelling project in Sutton Coldfield library from August 2018.

Digital Storytellers is to to be FOLIO’s biggest project yet, resulting in an interactive digital adventure around and inspired by Sutton Coldfield Library. This exciting initiative will be free, and ideal for young people aged 10-14. It will run from August-October 2018, with an augmented reality experience designed and created by local young people being premièred in November 2018.

Digital Storytellers is supported by a £9,500 grant from the Big Lottery Fund. FOLIO will work with C&T Digital Theatre company, internationally-renowned drama and technology professionals, to run free workshops over 8 weeks for young people. This will culminate in the creation of a digital story tour around the library, where families can investigate the stories of our Digital Storytellers. The money will also be used for the purchase of 3 iPads, which will be available at the library for following the digital tour at the end of the project.

This is FOLIO’s biggest and boldest project so far and we’re enormously excited to be able to offer something so unusual and innovative for young people in Sutton Coldfield Library, thanks to a very generous grant from the Big Lottery Fund, “ said Zoe Toft, Chair of FOLIO Sutton Coldfield. “The Digital Storytellers project is playful, creative and cutting-edge and we can’t wait to see the imaginations of local children brought to life through the use of all sorts of amazing technology.

We’re thrilled to be working with FOLIO on this exciting Digital Storytellers project,” said Sam George of C&T, “Empowering young people and communities by spreading digital media skills is what C&T is all about, and we believe this project will make Sutton Coldfield Library a fantastic location for learning and experiencing cutting edge digital arts.

The young Digital Storytellers will share their favourite stories, and bring books from the library to life in a digital exploration of the library. The sessions will include drama games, creative writing and digital technology workshops, and are perfect for creative young people, especially those aged 10-14, and who have interest in English, Drama, and learning about digital media.

Digital Storytellers will kick off on August 22nd at 10am, with a relaxed drop-in workshop for young people that runs all day, playing around with all sorts of technology from 360 cameras to steadicams and augmented reality. This is a taster session, to encourage people to sign up to the project, and will allow young people to try out some of the exciting digital techniques we’ll be using. The project will take place over 8 weeks, from September 15th to October 31st, with young people attending sessions at Sutton Coldfield Library every Saturday. The interactive story adventure will be launched on November 17th, an event to which anyone in Sutton Coldfield is welcome.

For details on the project, and to book onto the taster session/register your interest to be a Digital Storyteller, please email

Celebrating Elmer Day!

We’re celebrating Elmer Day with a free family craft session from 10am -12 midday in Sutton Coldfield Library on Saturday 26 May. Come and make an Elmer wall hanging to take home and a shared GIANT Elmer banner to brighten up the library!

No booking necessary. All materials provided. Children must be accompanied by adults.

Children’s Plant Workshop

Come and join Juliette Green, Environmental Education Teacher from Martineau Gardens (in Edgbaston), at a free children’s plant workshop. Activities will include naming the parts of a plant and acting out pollination, seed sowing craft and a story.

On the 7th of July, Juliette will be running two one-hour workshops, at 2-3pm and again from 3-4pm. Please book to guarantee your place:

A talk with Roots to Fruits Director, Jonathan Ensell

On Thursday July 12, from 1.30-3.30pm come and enjoy a talk given by Jonathan Ensell, Director of Roots to Fruits, a horticultural activity centre in Sutton Coldfield which provides accredited training and qualifications in horticulture, as well as offering bespoke horticultural and therapeutic activities.

Jonathan is a 3rd generation horticulturist who has found a passion for helping people with learning difficulties in college and prison to develop confidence, skills, passions, and find a reason to live again through teaching a variety of horticultural programmes and qualifications.

Of his talk on July 12 Jonathan says:

I’m looking forward to giving a presentation about my journey through teaching horticulture, the journey took me through mainstream colleges, to Her Majesty’s Prisons, to working directly with people with physical and educational disabilities plus those with mental health issues. The biggest surprise through that journey was not about the qualifications I delivered nor was it about beautiful plants we grew or the colourful Gardens we built but it was the people that we cultivated and nurtured through the process of learning about horticulture.

Wild and Wacky with Andy Seed

On Saturday June 9, from 2-3pm join Blue Peter Book Award-winning author Andy Seed for an hour of family fun based around his Anti-Boredom Book of Brilliant Outdoor Things to Do. There will be activities, games, jokes, riddles, quizzes and challenges on the theme of gardens and nature. Leafy laughs guaranteed!

Andy Seed writes for both children and adults and is the author of over 30 titles. He specialises in humorous non-fiction and his Silly Book of Side-Splitting Stuff (Bloomsbury) won the 2015 Blue Peter Book Award (Best Book with Facts). The third book in this series, The Silly Book of Weird and Wacky Words (Bloomsbury) was also shortlisted for the 2016 Blue Peter Book Award. He also writes for Nosy Crow, Quarto and Collins.

Andy visits over 50 schools a year around the UK inspiring children to read and getting them excited about books. He also appears at children’s literature festivals across the country and has recently performed at The Hay Festival, Bath Children’s Literature Festival and Edinburgh Book Festival.

Andy has also written a popular series of memoirs for adults about his days as a young teacher in the Yorkshire Dales in the 1980s. All Teachers Great and Small (Headline) was serialised in the Daily Mail which described it as ‘heartwarming and hilarious’. Andy lives in the Forest of Dean.