Touch Network is a not-for-profit organisation that celebrates real life stories of everyday people who are overcoming personal struggles in their lives. These might be things such as managing mental health difficulties, balancing family life, coping with loneliness, dealing with grief, facing gender issues or cultural challenges and much more. Our big idea is to get people talking - really talking.
Stories are powerful. Especially when they are real-life experiences shared by someone who opens up about their struggles, the lessons they’ve learnt and the hope they have found. In other people’s stories we recognise our common humanity. We find moments that resonate with our own lives, and we are inspired to work through our own challenges.
At Touch we empower people to tell their own story. We work with individuals and groups, coaching them to reflect on the things they have overcome. We help them identify the specific ways they got through the bad times and what they have learnt. Our vision is to see people everywhere talking about their experiences and inspiring others to do the same.
In sharing stories, storytellers gain a greater sense of self-confidence and self-belief - they recognise their strengths, resourcefulness, uniqueness and amazingness. By helping people to share their stories in a confident and positive way, we are building resilience, confidence and self-esteem. We are also reducing stigma, stereotypes and awkwardness in our communities as people get to know each other and learn to value what we have in common rather than what is different.
Touch Network is a fantastic example of a small project starting gently and then gradually growing its reach as it gains traction within the wider community. We have enjoyed seeing it develop and be shaped by the community that is growing around it. We love projects that have lots of ripple effects in their impact and we are looking forward to hearing more of Touch Network's own story.