Stories have always been important to PAMIS since it’s beginning 29 years ago. The stories of the people PAMIS support have been at the heart of what we do and their stories have influenced policy, shaped research, contributed to innovative practice and changed lives.  Personal stories, community stories, heritage and cultural stories have all  been central to creating more inclusive communities. We hope you enjoy journeying with us through the writings on this page and we invite you to contribute too with your own stories.



July 2021

Summer is here and there’s a lot of summer activity happening at PAMIS. We have started our summer story programme and will be taking stories to communities around the country over the next few weeks.  From river stories, summertime fun stories and music projects with Fiona Sharp online, to a music and story celebration of the elements with Fiona Sharp, and the participants in the online project and other families, planned for August  in Kelvingrove Park, to preparing and rehearsing with groups across Dumfries and Galloway for a major multi-sensory performance story and drama later in the year, as well as preparing for the Folklore Festival, Wild Goose Festival and the Nithraid  Festival later this year.  Our creative team are beavering away.  We are busy finalising our heritage stories and are also proud to announce that thanks to a grant from Shared Care Scotland, the PAMIS Art for Well-being Group led by Ashlynn Wardle are participating in the Edinburgh International Book Festival this year.  Their work will be part of an event delivered by PAMIS and the artists, alongside author Alexandra Strick and illustrator Steve Anthony on 16th August.   Also, if you are interested in books then sign up for the festivals business of books event and join in the discussion on Opening up Book Events for People with Learning Disabilities.  Further details of these events can be found on the Book festival website and on PAMIS’ social media.

What’s on | Edinburgh International Book Festival (

The Business of Books | Edinburgh International Book Festival (

Have a fun summer time!


**Storytelling and Drama Opportunity**

May 2021

This wonderful image of Alice was created by PAMIS Volunteer Robyn Souter.

PAMIS are thrilled to announce that they have been provided with generous funding from Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Regional Arts Fund 2021/22. Alongside funding granted from The Holywood Trust, this unique storytelling and drama project will provide the opportunity for people with learning disabilities and PMLD to take part in multi-sensory story and performance workshops moving towards a large-scale production.

PAMIS are working alongside Paragon Music and the Activity Resource Centres in Castle Douglas and Dumfries areas to produce an accessible adapted version of Alice in Wonderland.

Places are now available for the multi-sensory workshops for what will become the main cast of the production. These will be led by our Programme Lead in Dumfries and Galloway Heather Molloy and Lucy McGill who is a local arts practitioner and dance choreographer we have worked with previously.

Due to current government guidelines, places for this are limited and will be given on a first come first served basis on us receiving a completed registration form. A waiting list will be in operation should any places become available.

For more information and registration forms, including easy-read version, please see downloads below. You can also contact Heather directly at [email protected]

Easy Read Multi-Sensory Performance Information & Sign up Multi-Sensory Performance Information & Sign up


Stories are Everywhere

May 2021

I don’t know about you, but something I have heard many times is that we all have a story within us. It is an ambition for many to write a book, or tell their story, and advice often heard is ‘everyone has a story in them’. I would argue that we have many stories within us. Hundreds and thousands even.

You might doubt this.
You might think; what have I got to create a story about? I don’t have much of an imagination.
Let that go!
Everything that happens to you from the moment you wake up in the morning to the second you drift into sleep is a story. The things you see, hear, smell, taste and feel. The places that you go to. The people that you meet. Your connection to the world around you; the environment and how it is impacted by the changing seasons and the weather. Your culture and your heritage and how that impacts on your daily choices about things as simple as what you choose to eat and drink.
Moving away from the day to day and looking at the experiences of our past; the good, the bad, and the ugly. All rich stories.
We are so much more interesting and vibrant as human beings then we often give ourselves credit for. ‘I’m nothing special’ is a phrase that should NEVER be uttered because we are each and every one of us special. We have value and worth.
I baked my first loaf of bread today. It wasn’t so much of a loaf as a giant bread roll. I didn’t measure the ingredients, I pushed it around on the flour because I had no idea how to knead and worried it was too squishy and wet. Then,I took a guess at how long to proof and bake it for. To cling film or not to cling film? That was the question. Despite my doubt, it was delicious. The tasty fresh bread aroma wafting around the house as the butter melted onto the first freshly cut slice. A moment from my day and a story to share. One that would actually be wonderful as a multi-sensory story and baking activity all in one – I shall put that idea to one side to develop in the future.
When I read or watch or hear a story being told, I don’t always need a complicated plot or complex characters. I don’t need the Author/Storyteller to follow the ‘Elements of a good story’ you often find in creative writing guides. For me, the story is a landscape, or a scene, and I am peering through a window facing it and experiencing the familiar as well as the new.

So, don’t hesitate. Share your stories and open the window.


Extracts from Rivers  and Shores

Here is an extract from the Rivers and Shores resource for you to enjoy. Feel free to access the resource on the Rivers and Shores page and we look forward to you sharing your river experiences.


Nature is a playground for the senses and each person will interact with nature in their own unique way. Being on the shore or listening to the sounds of the river, waterfalls, the sea and all the bird sounds, is a magical experience.  Rivers and shores also provide opportunities for the sense of smell and taste.  Some days, depending on the weather, you can almost taste the sea.  The smell of sea air and seasonal plants that grow around rivers and shores provides amazing sensory experiences.  Nature also offers many tactile opportunities to experience varying natural textures.  On the shore there’s stones washed smooth by the sea. There’s driftwood and shells, seaweed, and sand. Seabirds too offer an exciting soundscape.  In the forests there’s bark and leaves of varying textures, there’s the sounds of birds and insects. The sights, sound, touch, smell, and taste of nature in all the seasons whether on shore, mountain or forest offers the ultimate sensory experience for the body and the mind.

Nature settings provide the perfect framework for working with multi-sensory stories. To create stories in the natural environment with nature as the story theatre, offers opportunities for sensory connection with both the environment and each other.  Sharing multi-sensory stories outdoors in nature allows for the natural weaving of the personal experience into the fabric of the story.  Through this everyone becomes a part of the story as they interact and participate with the story in their own with nature as the guide.

Rivers tell their own stories as they weave and curve through the landscape over land that holds its own stories. The sounds of the river vary as it weaves its way through the land. Sometimes it’s fast and sometimes it’s slow, sometimes it rushes and roars on its way. The natural soundscape of the river as it flows to the sea can create a sensory experience that is unique to each individual. Waleed and his family spend a lot of time outdoors in nature and Waleed loves to spend time at the river, listening to nature’s wonderful sounds. For him the river is a place to relax, and enjoy the soundscape of the river at various points along the river. Often Waleed falls asleep when he comes to the river, but he also enjoys the louder parts of the river too.  Waleed feels and hears the rivers own story through the soundscape it creates as it flows past him. The walk along the river for Waleed is a sensory experience of sounds and smells as well as a place to enjoy rest and relaxation. He loves watching the dogs, ducks and other animals and birds he sees on his visits to the river. Waleed loves the river and goes regularly to enjoy the river with his brother Shahzad.