Staff at the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust along with people who use its services and their carers are being invited to tell their remarkable real-life stories for the chance to have it turned into a book.
The BBC is looking for 15 ordinary people to come forward with their true-life stories for a new TV series called My Story. The most compelling stories will be told on BBC One in 2010 and five of these people will then win a paperback book deal with Harpers Collins and a £20,000 cash advance. There are no rules on what your tale is, it could be anything all that matters is that it actually happened and involves you or your family. True stories have inspired some of the most successful books and films of all time and the BBC’s My Story campaign hopes to get the whole nation writing and reading and give people a chance to follow in the footsteps of some of the biggest names in the book industry. Anyone one who doesn’t feel they have the skills of Roald Dahl or Jackie Collins shouldn’t be put off. While they’ll get their name on the front of their own book, all the hard work will be taken care on by a ghostwriter. For anyone who needs a bit of inspiration, videos are available on the My Story website featuring amazing true stories from a variety of people including actor Ray Winstone and TV presenter Fiona Phillips. There are also videos and activities to help plan a story, develop ideas and improve writing skills. Both staff, service users and carers who either work for or use mental health and learning disability services provided by the Trust across Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield, are encouraged to tell their story. Although it is a brave step to take, it could help people understand mental illness and reduce fear and stereotyping. It can also help other people in your situation feel less isolated. The Trust’s Chair Joyce Catterick said: "In our line of work we hear incredibly inspiring stories every day. Many people who use our services, staff and carers have led remarkable lives and telling some of their tales could help to tackle stigma surrounding mental health problems or learning disabilities and be just the boost someone in a similar position needs."
Entry into the BBC competition is easy, all you need to do is: •Go to www.bbc.co.uk/mystory and click the ‘add my story’ icon •Or write to My Story, c/o PO Box 65655, London, W12 2BG Entrants have to be at least 18, and stories have to be in by 16th December.
For more information and how to enter your story visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/mystory