- Young People,
The Book of St Helens was created by 146 children from three schools across St Helens, working with artists Andy Field and Beckie Darlington.
Hear the children introducing the book below and get your free digital copy by clicking on "Download" under this video.
The Book of St Helens - Digital Download
This is our Book of St Helens. What would be in your book?
The project invited the children to create a guidebook to St Helens which would be shared with local stakeholders and grown-ups so they could see the town from the imagination and perspective of its young people.
The book tells it's readers the things they might not remember or know about what it’s like to be a young person today and asks them questions about their town and how it is changing. There's even some handy pages to make notes.
How many pairs of shoes are there in St Helens?
How many people live in St Helens?
Do you think St Helens is a better place now than when this book was written?
Children from Ashurst, Broad Oak Community and Rainford Church of England Primary Schools completed activity packs, designed by Andy and Beckie, with their teachers. They wrote about the places they love, the places they wish could be better and the changes they would make if they were in charge. A smaller group of editors worked with Andy and Beckie to bring hundreds of ideas together in to 32 pages of must see sights, walks, monuments and loads more.
Andy and Beckie introduce the project to the children:
Illustrator Rhi Moxon turned the children’s work, chosen by the editors, into maps and designs and New York based designer Will Brady put all the words and Rhi’s illustrations together and created the final book design.
The children were asked to create a map which showed the safest, happiest and scariest places, and the best places to hide in their local areas. They designed a new flag and crest for the town and wrote their own introduction.
They shared the things they miss, the things they worry about and the ways they would improve their neighbourhoods. They wrote stories about what they would do if they were invisible for a day, wrote a new St Helens Town Anthem and shared their recommendations.
We recommend you don’t be afraid of anything.
Whatever you need, you’ll find in this book.
200 copies of The Book of St Helens will be shared with the children and people in St Helens who influence the town with messages from the children and an invitation to respond.
The Book of St Helens has been generously supported by Arts Council England, #iwill and the Community Foundation for Merseyside through the #iwill2019 fund.
This project follows on from The School for Invisible Urbanists with Andy Field which took place with Broad Oak Community Primary School in March 2020, during the first national lockdown. Read more about The School For Invisible Urbanists below.
The Book of St Helens was printed by environmentally friendly, community owned printers MARC the Printers in Salford, who also printed Kate Hodgson’s lovely PARRTY Zine.