Celebrating Difference with George Webster….. and PAMIS!!

This year the Book Festival worked with our friends at PAMIS on a project surrounding George Webster’s wonderful book This Is Me. Both the PAMIS music and art groups were inspired by This Is Me to tell their own stories, through music and art.  

At the end of George’s event at the Book Festival we invited the PAMIS music group onstage to share what they had created.  They performed a song called This Is Us which had been created by the PAMIS Online Music Group with their tutor Fiona Sharp. The audience joined in with members of the group signing the lyrics in Makaton. 

You can watch Celebrating Difference with George Webster including PAMIS’ wonderful performance here:  


The PAMIS music group appear onstage at around 45 minutes!

You can watch the video introducing the PAMIS participants here:

Or listen to their song here: This is the Music Group – YouTube

This Is Me: A Multi-Sensory Story

Multi-sensory stories develop and support interaction, enjoyment, attention, listening, recognition, comprehension, learning, anticipation, sequencing and are great fun! PAMIS have created a Multi-Sensory Story adaptation of This Is Me which you can try out here:  This is me MSS

Here’s a video of PAMIS’ Friendship Club and Story Squad enjoying the This Is Me Sensory Story:

The Art Group

Members of the PAMIS Art Group were also inspired by This Is Me to create their own artworks showcasing their personalities. These were displayed in the Book Festival’s Signing Tent after the event. Read on to hear what they did, then view their artworks in the powerpoint presentations.

“When we starting thinking about this project, we thought about who were are, what inspires us, what gives us enjoyment with our friends and family, what makes us tick and improves our well being. So the ideas that both artists came up with, reflect their love of different aspects of life. So how did we arrive at the amazing creative pieces on show? Both artists have abilities and aspirations and Jack’s love of the water and the canal has been his inspiration so it was obvious for Jack to create this as he has been a ”Captain of the canal” for over 10 years. Helen chose music and a piano with musical notes running a tune under it that’s the score for her favourite ABBA song! Then it was clay we turned to for making a fashion piece to show her love of clothes, and her favourite jumper.

Let’s celebrate their efforts and creative ideas and skills, and enjoy the artwork as unique art forms that shows that these talented artists are able to make stunning art works to describe themselves.”

Helen’s Display
Jack’s Display
Jessica’s Display 

This Is Me: A Story Massage

PAMIS’ Gill White also created a Story Massage of This Is Me. Story Massage is another way of making stories accessible, and can be a calming way to share a story together. You can watch Gill (and Story Sloth) enjoying the Story Massage below, then try your hand at a Story Massage yourself using the adapted story alongside the massage strokes here This is me Story Massage Adaptation.

Maureen Phillip from PAMIS explains what the book and project meant to the participants involved:

“This is Me is a wonderful uplifting book by George Webster that just sings to you as you watch it unfold to celebrate the very essence of who we are as individuals.  It is one of those rare books that come along now and then that offers opportunities to explore the essence of what it is to be authentically who you are as a person. It is a wonderful example of how when a book bubbles with the fullness of authentic energy, it has the ability to influence and inspire people.  This is what George Websters book did for a group of wonderful people. This resource shows how over the course of a few weeks this book inspired so many people to share authentic moments from their own lives that celebrate who they are as individuals in so many ways.  It has inspired the sharing of personal stories, it has inspired music to be written and performed, art to be created, multi-sensory story and story massage to be created.  PAMIS along with our partners, have created this resource to show how a book and the sharing of a story can open a door to exploration, connection, knowledge, understanding and fun. This is Us is the PAMIS celebration of the individual and thank you to George Webster for creating a book that helps to shines a spotlight on individuals and who they are.  Thank you to the Edinburgh International Book Festival for another opportunity to let the world see what people with profound and multiple learning disabilities can achieve. We hope the ideas in this resource inspire you all to go out and start creating stories, music and art to celebrate who you are. Within the resource the creative learning mediums used are: film, music, art, multi -sensory story and story massage. Please feel free to browse the resources and get in touch if you have any questions.

Music. Fiona Sharp of F. Sharp Music has been working with the PAMIS online music group since 2020 and Fiona’s music sessions develop concentration, communication, motor skills, social skills, skills, listening skills, engagement, interaction as well as supporting self-expression and creativity. Fiona also wrote the song and instrumental for this work.  https://fsharpmusic.co.uk

Art. David Grigor of Blind Create has been working with PAMIS students to support them to create an important moment from their lives and bring it to life through art. When they started thinking about this project, they thought about who were are, what inspires them, what gives them enjoyment with friends and family, what makes them tick and improves their well being. The students facilitated the process with support. https://www.davidgrigor.com”

The Book Festival would like to thank PAMIS for all the wonderful work that they do, and for their beautiful contribution to the event.