Learn to sign and sing at South Shields and Sunderland storytelling sessions

Storyteller Claire Herdman.
Storyteller Claire Herdman.

Special storytelling sessions will take place in Sunderland and South Tyneside, where people will be able to enjoy sign and sing.

Award-winning arts and culture project the Cultural Spring and ITV SignPost have organised the events.

The stories will be performed in British Sign Language (BSL) by a deaf storyteller, supported by an interpreter who will voice the tales so everyone can enjoy them.

Cultural Spring director Emma Horsman said: “We’ll be running one session in South Shields and another in Sunderland.

“Our storyteller, ITV SignPost’s Claire Herdman, will use BSL, music and props to bring some of our favourite stories and characters to life.

“The sessions will be fully inclusive and family friendly.

“There’ll be a chance to learn a few signs, sing a few songs and play some games.

“Claire will be performing a range of fun stories and songs, including There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly and Five Little Speckled Frogs.

“She’ll use props, lots of movement and engaging signs for children - and adults - to learn and copy.”

The South Tyneside session will be at South Shields Musuem in Ocean Road, on Tuesday, July 24, between 11am and 12.30pm.

A week later, on Tuesday, July 31, there will be a second session at Kayll Road Library, Sunderland, again between 11am and 12.30pm.

A fee of £2 per person applies for the sessions, which can be booked by emailing georgia.shippen@theculturalspring.org.uk or calling 0191 427 8197.

Gateshead-based ITV SignPost is a full production house specialising in sign language video content.

Each year the company creates more than 1,100 hours of sign language video, including content for flagship programmes such as Coronation Street and Emmerdale.

Its storytellers feature on ITV’s children’s programme Signed Stories, which has run on CITV and is an award-winning app.

Cultural Spring is an Arts Council England-funded initiative working to increase participation in the arts in Sunderland and South Tyneside.

Its partners are the University of Sunderland, the Customs House, South Shields, Sunderland’s Music, Arts and Culture (MAC) Trust and Sangini, a women’s health organisation.