18 podcasts (approx. 5 mins each) has released on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for 6 weeks from the 22 February 2021.
Between October 2020 – January 2021, artist Natasha Rand interviewed residents and staff from Somerset Care and local elders from Yeovil to ask how they have been coping and to share their life experiences of difficult times from their past. It captured significant moments of their life from travel to friendship, war time hardship to mental health.
Recorded & produced by Natasha Rand
Edited by Stephen Ives
You can also listen to the podcast via Spotify below (kindly provided by Somerset Library):
PODCAST 17: Janet
West country born and bred, Janet retells stories of childhood chores of haymaking and stacking bails. Living in Yeovil since 1979 Janet talks of times when you just need a moment to gain your strength.
”You have to find something to keep going.’
PODCAST 16: Chris
Yeovil born but moved away and returned. Chris talks about how fortunate he has been in is life.
PODCAST 15: Mary
She shared her experience growing up in different places during the war, feeling safe under the care from her loving parents. She talked about being young adult and how to deal with things in life. ‘I don’t know how you do cope, but I just do.’
PODCAST 14: Charlie
92 years old Charlie talks about his work ethic, his thought on decision making, working hard and getting on.
PODCAST 13: Nyanza
As a single mother in a quite different time, Nyanza found her faith helped her throughout her life.
PODCAST 12: Mary
Mary shares stories of her selfless nursing career and the time she ended up in Africa by mistake!
‘“Take care and think about what you’d like to do, then it’s up to you how to get there.”
PODCAST 11: Sadie
90 year old Sadie shared stories of school life during WW2 and the memories of what it was to hear the hum of planes fly over to bomb Yeovil town.
PODCAST 10: Jeanette (Part 2)
Jeanette has had such an interesting life we had to make two podcasts of her story! From the tales of childhood during WW2 in Britain to tales of Africa; safari, USA starlets and airline pilots! Jeanette shared with us her experience in Nairobi, Kenya and tells us “Try and smile, even at a stranger, as you’re walking by.”
PODCAST 9: Jeanette (Part 1)
Jeanette was a little girl growing up in the second world war and was an evacuee to Somerset as her parents helped with the war effort in London. She tells of time in Bridgwater with her Grandmother who was an inspector to ensure the evacuee children were looked after. She recalls how Sunday drives, sweets and new clothes became a big treat, a welcome distraction from the bombs dropping. The life Jeanette goes on to lead is so interesting you will be able to hear part 2 of her podcast on Monday.
PODCAST 8: Jutta
Jutta spent her happy childhood in wartime Germany and she moved to Britain in 1957 saying “she likes it very much” especially the chimneys! She was a cook and a nanny for several English families. Her story explains how she met her husband and second partner but she shares her resilience to life after becoming a widow twice. Her sunny deposition, despite her experiences, is infectious as she tells us “you can do it, you can do it!”.
PODCAST 7: Patrick
Patrick has been selected as our podcast for International Woman’s Day (8 March 2021) and mark the beginning of the National Intergenerational Week (8-15 March 2021). He talks fondly of his relationship with his mother , the progress of women in his lifetime whilst reminiscing about being in London on VE day, his love of theatre and life for women post the Victorian era and long skirts! A very liberal 92 year old.
PODCAST 6: CAROL
Carol tells tales of her childhood, growing up on a farm as one of 7 children. She reminisces as the simplicity of life. Carol talks about positives and negatives of living locally. Later in life, Carol struggled with intense post natal depression. She bravely shares her story, tells of how her strong marriage and love enabled her to get through. Carol explains that this dark period in her life helped her to help others later on and she offers some beautiful words of wisdom.
PODCAST 5: JAMIE
Jamie is the acting deputy manager at Burnworthy House, Somerset Care. He always wanted a rewarding career and decided on care. It was a space that not many men work.
He reflects on the struggles of adjusting to becoming a new dad and how he tackled with the signs of pressure and not quite coping. He speaks honestly about reaching out for help and how the different generations have viewed mental health issues.
PODCAST 4: THERENA
Therena is on of the many key worker heroes. She doesn’t look like look your average care home deputy managers but in this podcast she shares her passion for her job. Therena “failed” at school but despite life throwing her obstacles, she has succeeded in her personal and professional life. She talks of her struggles, the natural caring instinct and how there is always a way to climb up and out of rock bottom.
PODCAST 3: DELLA
Della is over 90 and talks about her experiences of childhood in the Blitz, London. She was responsible for looking after the children that were left behind after the bombing. Della talks about the impact of dealing with this trauma and how that led her into nursing as a career. She talks about her faith and how that helped her to belong and help others. She offers words of wisdom and guidance to the younger generation.
PODCAST 2: RUTH
After experiencing the war, Ruth trained to be a teacher. She then took a two year trip to Australia and continued to teach in the out- back of Australia. She talks of the excitement from the time, the life long friends she made and how it became an experience she never forgot.
PODCAST 1: IRENE
Irene is 91 years old and happily living in a Somerset Care home. Her interview took place in December of 2020 over a Zoom call, where she shared her life story. Not wanting to ask her parents for the money for art school in 1943, Irene got a job at a fashion house at the age of 14 and worked her way up to the design room and dressed film stars and royalty. She talks of her early morning journeys up to London, her father and his secret code breaking work and the joys of motherhood.
Led by artist Natasha Rand, we are working with care home residents and staff, elderly, young people and creatives in Yeovil, telling the stories of bravery and kindness across generations. Podcasts, exhibition, window displays, workshops and family activities are taking place in different forms and locations.
Working in partnership with Eastville Project Space, Somerset Care, Yeovil Library, Quedam Shopping Centre, Love Yeovil & Yeovil College, Buckler’s Mead Academy with the generous support from The National Lottery Community Fund, Somerset Community Foundation, South Somerset District Council, Art Council England Lottery Fund.
About the project
‘Together We Are Stronger’ is a project to record stories of isolation, bravery, and kindness during lockdown to reconnect generations and foster a sense of community (during the Covid-19 pandemic) via digital storytelling.
Artist Natasha Rand (founder of Creation Generation) interviewed residents and staff from Somerset Care and local elders from Yeovil to ask how they have been coping and to share their life experiences of difficult times from their past.
The PODCASTS will be released here on this page and then shared in the care homes, alongside the response from young people, families, and creatives, including artworks and writing from WORKSHOPS, FAMILY ACTIVITY PACK, and ARTIST COMMISSIONS; followed by a range of creative responses to share with the public, including WINDOW DISPLAY at the town centre and an EXHIBITION at Yeovil Art Space.
We hope ‘Together We Are Stronger‘ creates more opportunities for intergenerational work in Yeovil and support cohesion and new partnerships, linking different groups and organisations together. We would like to thank, for their generous support, the individuals and organisations who have made this project possible.