Scotland's Year of Stories 2022: equality impact assessment

Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022 showcased Scotland’s strongest culture, tourism and events assets and other key aspects of society by creating a collaborative platform for partners to work together and maximise benefits. The report highlights evidence, opportunities and actions to boost equality.

Part 5 - Recommendations and Conclusions

Looking across all of the Themed Years since 2009, Scotland's Year of Stories has perhaps the strongest potential to enhance equality and showcase diversity given the widely acknowledged power of storytelling to help us connect with one another and share our experiences.

This Equality Impact Assessment provides a snap-short of the significant amount of current and planned partner activity to harness this potential, with a focus on accessibility for disabled and older people and also boosting the wider participation of: disabled and older people; young people; the LGBTI community; multi-cultural communities; Scotland's most deprived communities; and also intersecting identities (as set out at Part 4).

Progressing through Scotland's Year of Stories lead partners will continue to continuously develop their programmes to harness new and emerging opportunities, including those to boost equality.

Particular opportunities going forward include further engaging children and young people and the LGBTI community, enhancing the accessibility of events and also ensuring that the stories and traditions of Scotland's multi-cultural communities continue to sit at the heart of the event programme and any related marketing and PR activities.

Ensuring Scotland's more deprived communities are invited to participate in Scotland's Year of Stories, is hardwired into the approach (as evidenced in both the strategic plan for the Year and as set out in the assessment criteria in the published grant application documents etc.) and will be monitored throughout the process by engaging with the policy expertise and networks of partners through the Steering and Working Groups for the Year.

In addition, one of the key strengths of the Themed Year approach is the strengthening of partnerships and this, along with the events and activities supported, has the potential to create a legacy which will continue to enhance equality long after the finale of Scotland's Year of Stories building a momentum for any future Themed Years and other Major Events hosted in Scotland. To maximise these legacy impacts, lessons and learning from all the equality activity in support of Scotland's Year of Stories needs to be carefully recorded and widely shared with a substantive feature in the Scotland's Year of Stories wider impact report (see Part 6 – "Monitoring and Evaluation").

Meantime, to address the opportunities explored at Parts 1-4 of this Equality Impact Assessment, it is clear that a wide and significant range of events and activities are already being delivered by the Scottish Government, VisitScotland and a range of other partners to boost equality as part of Scotland's Year of Stories. These include:

Grant funding

Scotland's Year of Stories Community Stories Fund

The Community Stories Fund supports organisations and community groups to take part in and celebrate Scotland's Year of Stories, spotlighting the unique stories that matter to them with new, creative events, activities and programming.

The Community Stories Fund is being delivered in partnership between VisitScotland and Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund. Museums Galleries Scotland is administering the fund on behalf of the partnership.

The Community Stories Fund Programme is being supported by total resources (including both direct programme funding and the free provision of associated wraparound support resources) of £942,000 in partnership with EventScotland, Museums Galleries Scotland, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Scottish Government.

Communities can apply for grant funding of between £500 and £5,000 and will benefit from a 'wrap around programme' of promotional and skills development support offered by VisitScotland – details below.

Round 1 of the Community Stories Fund has supported 46 events (originally 47, but one dropped out) across 27 of Scotland's Local Authorities. All supported events/initiatives are open to all, have community engagement and inclusion at their heart and many are free to attend.

Round 2 of the Community Stories Fund opened for application from 24 January 2022 and closed on 18 March 2022. Applications to the Community Stories Fund Round 2 were assessed according to the above criteria and, as result of the analysis of the Round 1 applications, Museums and Galleries Scotland prioritised projects that would do one or more of the following:

  • Celebrate stories that are unique to specific communities across Scotland.
  • Create new opportunities for artists, storytellers and creative talent.
  • Promote emerging or undiscovered talent.
  • Focus on multicultural communities, people that have recently made Scotland their home and young people.
  • Celebrate our indigenous languages.
  • Enable partnerships.

Round 2 selection also addressed the gaps in geographic coverage from Round 1, and Community Stories events will be run in all 32 local authorities.

266 applications were received and 136 were successful. Together with the 46 from Round 1, originally 183 Community Story Events were to run during 2022, but this fell to 180 as two from Round 2 and one from Round 1 were unable to proceed and had to drop out.

The wrap around programme of support will include an Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) project, skills development opportunities for grantees, a promotional campaign as well as commissioned project evaluation. Chief amongst the training are skills development webinars covering marketing, delivering online events, sustainable events delivery, reaching digitally excluded audiences and diversifying audiences.

Funded events which respond to some of the opportunities highlighted in this Equality Impact Assessment include:

Story Ceilidh

Magic Torch Comics CIC

Feb-June 2022

Renfrewshire Council

Early in 2022 this initiative will run a series of workshops to gather traditional stories from their community of New Scots and refugees. Working with an artist the participants will publish their stories as a book and perform them in an intimate family table setting.

Stories of our people, place and planet.

Concrete Garden

March- September 2022

Glasgow City Council (Maryhill and Springburn)

At their Spring Open, a storyteller, community artist and facilitator will tell stories and riddles, and will also create a space for people to tell their own stories or develop new ones. 60% of the families that attended previous sessions come from ethnic minority groups and the organisers of this event plan to work with representative organisations including the Scottish Refugee Council to build local connections to reach further into communities.

Home Fae Home

St Aloysius English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) School

March 2022

Glasgow City Council

Pupils to undertake research to create a performance about how Glasgow and Scotland are viewed by the outside world. Participants will also be asked to contribute songs, poems, stories from their home countries.

Stories from the Kist

Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh

7 May 2022

City of Edinburgh Council

One of the two events being held will be led by three storytellers who will share stories in Scots and Doric having used the Tobar an Dualchais archive as a basis for their research. There will be a focus on the traveller community. They may also use the researched stories as a basis for creating new stories for the event.

Edinburgh Festival Carnival - 'Carnival Stories'

Edinburgh International Jazz and Blues Festival Ltd

1 June- 30 July 2022

City of Edinburgh

The partners all work with minority communities and those from lower socio-economic backgrounds to deliver the carnival stories.

Tales of a Travelling Scotland

Ando Glaso SCIO

26 August- 27 August 2022

Glasgow City Council

The Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow will host a festival celebrating Roma culture and heritage. This project will support the creation of a 60 minute performance of traditional and new stories, songs and music centred on the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller culture. 200 free tickets will be available for this event.

Fables at the stables

Cassiltoun Housing Association

July 2022

Glasgow City Council

The stories of Castlemilk's multicultural community are to be captured in a new film. Stories will be told in creative ways – through storytelling, poems and visual art – and in the wealth of different languages spoken by those who call the area home.

Family Encounters

Imaginate at the National Museum of Scotland

May 2022

City of Edinburgh

A unique strand – New Stories – will feature as part of Family Encounters, a free theatre and dance extravaganza for children and families at the National Museum of Scotland. Two or three emerging artists or companies will deliver new, site-specific performances for children, telling fresh stories in exciting and innovative ways. Under-represented voices and non-traditional formats will be harnessed to create relevant and inclusive work that will surprise and delight young audiences in equal measure.

Mining seams and drawing wells: a living archive for Easterhouse

Glasgow East Arts Company

March 2022

Glasgow City Council

A new living archive will share the distinctive story of Easterhouse. Created by residents from local housing associations through a series of participative creative writing, archiving and arts workshops, the archive will be a space to collect stories old and new, and will trace the long tradition of resilience and resistance associated with the area.

Open Book's Stories Across Scotland

Open Book Twelve community events

July to September 2022

Multiple areas across Scotland

Inspired by Hannah Lavery's poem 'Scotland You're No Mine', 28 creative writing groups from Shetland to Stranraer will create new work about their experience of life in Scotland. These groups – who include LGBTQ+ and BAME participants, refugee women, the elderly and rurally isolated people – will produce work in English, Scots, Gaelic and Arabic.

Preserving and Celebrating Edinburgh's Deaf Heritage

Deaf Action

August 2022

City of Edinburgh

As part of their new Deaf Festival a series of new film clips that capture their relationship with the deaf community will be screened: from older members' childhood memories to young people's vision for the future.

Screenings will be held in historically significant rooms around Deaf Action's building, as well as online. All stories will be presented in British Sign Language, with captions and voiceover.

Rekindling the ceilidh: storytelling through the Scottish seasons

The Three Hares Woodland CIC

May- October 2022

Midlothian Council

This project will bring young people and the local community together to share traditional stories, and create new ones, inspired by their natural environment. A group of young people (aged 8 to 13) will create stories about the natural world during a series of outdoor storytelling sessions.

The Pink Triangle Podcast Pink Saltire SCIO

February 2022

Fife Council (Kirkcaldy)

Pink Saltire will deliver a new podcast series during LGBT History Month in February 2022, showcasing some of the untold stories of the diverse LGBTQ+ community in Scotland.

Five pre-recorded episodes and two live storytelling events will share stories from the trans community, LGBTQ+ people who are over 50, and queer people of colour, with the intention of highlighting injustices and celebrating individuals who have overcome adversity to be their authentic selves.

Scotland's Year of Stories Open Events Fund

The Scotland's Year of Stories Open Events Fund was designed to support new, creative event proposals and programming that will provide high profile content created especially in response to the 2022 Themed Year opportunity.

The Open Events Fund was supported with resources of £600,000 from the Scottish Government and was delivered by EventScotland.

Event organisers could apply for grants of between £15,000-£60,000.

The Open Events Fund closed in August 2021 and key features of the programme supported by the Fund are:

  • 21 events awarded funding, spread across 22 Local Authorities; and
  • 12 of the awards are for new events which have been created with the aim of celebrating Scotland's Year of Stories. 9 of the awards are to support new or expanded activity within an existing event.

All supported events funded by the Open Events Fund are open to all. Funded events which respond to some of the opportunities highlighted in this Equality Impact Assessment include:

  • the Wire Women project taking place as part of Perth and Kinross' Year of Stories with community groups, creatives and cultural organisations sharing the stories of women, all connected through objects in the collections of the new City Hall Museum; and
  • also an exciting new initiative for young, emerging poets, Scotland's Young Makars, taking place as part of StAnza, Scotland's International Poetry Festival in St Andrew's, Fife.

Partner supported events and activity

In addition to the grant funding support offered in support of the Year, lead partners are also delivering their own programmes of complimentary events and other activities, which are unfunded. From a target of 100 events in the strategic plan, working in partnership, 150 events are supported through this programme and highlights along with wider partner activity include:

Historic Environment Scotland

  • "Unforgettable" exhibition opening in April 2022 at Blackness Castle, explores the stories of people from a variety of marginalised backgrounds (race, disability, sexual orientation, and socio economic background).
  • Exhibition at Duff House from July to October 2022 celebrates the work of Scottish Ghanian photographer Maud Sulter.

The Scotsman - Celebration of black performance filmed at Stirling Castle to honour little-known role in royal christening..

  • "Inspired by the Past" – the programme will include targeted activity working directly with community partners to support the Scottish Government Summer offer for 2022 aimed at providing low income families with access to food, childcare and activities during the summer holidays.
  • LGBTI Maritime History Tour - developing an LGBTI maritime history themed walking tour of Leith with a local storyteller, inspired by the collections in Trinity House Maritime Museum, aim to pilot with targeted community groups during Edinburgh Pride in June with public tours later in the year.

Scottish Library Information Council

  • What's Your Story – 22 for 22- aim is to create 22 stories from the six diverse localities within North Ayrshire as part of our legacy from Scotland's Year of Stories.
  • This project aims to capture, preserve and share 22 stories of local people from diverse communities across North Ayrshire as part of their own wellbeing and recovery from the pandemic and to build a historical archive for future generations to access and learn about responses to this moment in time.
  • The project will work with partners who represent those not often heard, including our English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and those with disabilities and their carers.

Traditional Arts Culture Scotland/Scottish Storytelling Centre

Sensing Stories

Sensing Stories is an artistic development opportunity for people based in Scotland to develop storytelling skills and share their stories in a live setting. The Scottish International Storytelling Festival (SISF) has partnered with Birds of Paradise, LGBT Youth Scotland, Scottish BPOC (Black people, People of Colour) Writers Network and Networking Key Services to deliver a series of workshops where participants learn storytelling skills and gain the confidence to start their creative storytelling journey, creating a pathway to further performance opportunities.

Imagine Online

11 commissioned performances were filmed in Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2021 and launched on Sunday 20 March (World Storytelling Day) to enable audiences who were unable to attend the live performances due to Covid and/or personal restrictions. These films have all been interpreted and translated into British Sign Language, producing a full body of work from the Festival.

Queer Folks Tales

Queer Folks' Tales is a new storytelling series where queer storytellers from a diverse range of backgrounds, ages and cultures share stories of LGBTQ+ lives, past and present. Running bi-monthly initially from March – November 2022, the mix of stories across the year will be as varied as the range of storytellers invited, with many of the stories told being true stories of LGBTQ+ experience in Scotland today.

Figures of Speech

Figures of Speech is a bold and exciting cross-artform series of six events throughout 2022 which will bring people together, in person and online, to explore who we are as a modern literary nation, celebrating Scotland's literature and challenging its boundaries. The programming will engage with a variety of performers, across diverse groups allowing for a broad spectrum of approaches.

These are live, in-person events which will be recorded and made available as online specials throughout 2022 in two seasons; May to July and September to November. Each live event will feature a British Sign Language interpreter and the online versions will have British Sign Language interpretation and full captioning.

Stone Soup

The Stone Soup is a European folk story in which strangers convince the people of a town to each share a small amount of their food in order to make a larger meal that everyone can enjoy. This project is series of community-led events and discussions in mid-late 2022, facilitated by a professional teller accumulating in a ceilidh of multicultural stories, songs and dance with shared food. Storytellers will work in residency with small groups in their own area.

Attic Archives

Some of our richest stories, our important cultural heritage and legacy are in our own attics. This public participation campaign will form part of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival's Get Creative strand in October 2022, with particular focus on supporting elderly people or those who cannot easily leave their home.

Wigtown Festival Company

Big DoG Children's Book Festival

Dumfries, 1-3 April 2022

  • The Kippford Mermaid - multi-sensory storytelling for principally but not exclusively young people with a range of needs.
  • One Button Benny (in Arabic & English) - author event simultaneously translated into Arabic (principally aimed at Syrian new Scots.
  • The Secret Museum - storyteller Mara Menzies has been commissioned to create a new tale that looked at empire and colonialism through objects in the stores of Dumfries Museum.
  • New Big Dog schools programme will reach over 600 children (1 April).
  • Hybrid launch event featuring Benjamin Zephaniah talking about his book "Windrush Child". Partnership with Diverse Book Awards.
  • Wigtown Festival Company working in partnership with the community organisation LIFT (Lochside Is Families Together) to bring families from economically disadvantaged communities in north-west Dumfries to Moat Brae.
  • Wigtown Book Festival's YP programme is co-created with young people themselves.

Other related activity:

  • Wigtown Festival Company and Scottish Book Festivals Network are sponsoring Inklusion, a new guide to making literary events accessible, written by Ever Dundas and Julie Farrel (due for publication in the autumn);
  • Wigtown Festival Company is part of an Irish-Scottish project led by Glasgow University and the University of Maynooth looking at the role of children's literature activities post-Covid. Other partners include Book Trust and Children's Books Ireland;
  • Scottish Book Festivals Network report on the Impact of Scotland's Book Festivals (March 2022) details various impacts - social, economic, educational - and maps them onto the National Performance Framework.

Scotland's Year of Stories at programme level is also supported specific activity focused on intersectional and the other protected characteristics:


  • In 2020 the Scottish Government provided VisitScotland with funding of £4,500 to enhance their Digital Media Library (DML) with images showcasing people with protected characteristics celebrating the Themed Years in the context of Scotland's wider Inclusive Growth Strategy[12]. These images will primarily be used in VisitScotland marketing and PR activity and will also be available free of charge to other partners via the Digital Media Library which can be accessed using this URL: VisitScotland - Inclusive images and videos of Scotland
  • VisitScotland will explore the opportunities to showcase and celebrate Scotland's diversity as an integral part of all of its marketing and PR activity for Scotland's Year of Stories.
  • To an extent all of the partner activities supported for Scotland's Year of Stories as part of this Equality Impact Assessment and more widely are intersectional as although they can focus on one of the protected characteristics the communities and organisations taking part- for example multi-cultural or LGBTI communities- will have intersectional characteristics too.

Age: Children and Young People

Building on the 2018 Year of Young People, children and young people sit at the heart of Scotland's Year of Stories. Many of the funded events for the Year entirely or partly focus on children and young people and the marketing and PR of the Year is being continuously developed to ensure young people continue to be engaged as we progress through 2022.

Age: Older People

Older people sit at the heart of Scotland's Year of Stories with many events such as Open Book's Stories Across Scotland (as set out above) showcasing their experiences of life in Scotland now and in the past and also their hopes for the future through storytelling.

Also to see information on "Regional Tourism Itineraries" under "Disability".

Race/Multi-cultural and faith communities

As set out above, a number of events supported by the Scotland's Year of Stories Community Stories Fund engage Scotland's multi-cultural communities.

In addition, supported by funding from the Scottish Government, BEMIS Scotland will work with multicultural communities across Scotland to deliver a series of bespoke events celebrating Scotland's Year of Stories/Burns Night as part of the multicultural celebration of Scotland's Winter Festivals during the 2021/22 season.

These events will be designed and delivered by multi-cultural communities to showcase Scotland's unique cultural diversity alongside their own traditions, stories and what Scotland means for them as their home.


VisitScotland has also been provided with £20,000 from the Scottish Government to deliver Regional Accessible Tourism Itineraries. Each itinerary focuses on disabled and older people and will showcase accessible things to see and do right across Scotland, with a geographical focus, and also linking into initiatives such as Scotland's Year of Stories. The itineraries will increasingly become an integral part of VisitScotland's Inclusive Tourism Toolkit which includes a range of information and guides to boost accessibility and inclusive tourism more widely.

In addition, the Scotland's Year of Stories Community Stories Fund is funding Deaf Action Scotland's Preserving and Celebrating Edinburgh's Deaf Heritage initiative as set out above.

Sexual Orientation

VisitScotland's website provides a wealth of information to welcome LGBTI visitors to Scotland during Scotland's Year of Stories, which can be accessed using this URL: LGBT+ holidays in Scotland | VisitScotland

In addition, the Scotland's Year of Stories Community Stories Fund is funding The Pink Triangle Podcast (as set out above) to further showcase some of the untold stories of the diverse LGBTI community in Scotland.

Socio-economic Disadvantage

Events supported by the Scotland's Year of Stories Community Stories Fund aim to engage Scotland's most deprived communities in Scotland's Year of Stories. These include "Edinburgh Festival Carnival - 'Carnival Stories'" and "Mining seams and drawing wells: a living archive for Easterhouse" as set out above.



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