Storytelling, People’s Voice Media and an exciting new project – Q&A with The Beav aka Yvonne Dawson

Recently, Camerados were successful in their bid from ‘The Emerging Futures Fund’ from the National Lottery. This is a programme that has been created to help “communities move towards recovery and renewal after the impact of COVID-19.” The aim of the fund is to look at how things are changing, what is needed in this transition, and what is possible in the future. For this project, Camerados joined forces with People’s Voice Media to embark on a seriously exciting project.


We decided to sit down with THE BEAV aka Yvonne Dawson, the AOC’s Community and Projects Lead.

Chris: Hey Beav, how’s it going? thanks for taking some time out of your seriously busy schedule to chat with me. I feel like the only question we could ever start with is about your nickname…Why do we all call you The Beav?

Beav: Ha ha ha, well those tinker’s at the AoC cottoned on to my ‘scouty’ name, I’m a Beaver Leader and the Beaver Scouts know me as Orange Beaver, thus it’s now shortened to Beav, it does mean some strange looks when they call me it in meetings with new people!


Chris: Ahaha, that one always brings me a smile! So you are working on this emerging futures project with People’s Voice Media (PVM), how did this come about? And what role does each part of the team do?

Beav: Well a fellow Camerado (Cat Duncan-Rees) told us about the project and introduced us to People’s Voice Media (thanks muchly Cat), so we’re all now working on this together to listen to stories of the pandemic from across the movement. There’s a few of us involved with it from the AoC….. Catherine our Arts Activism Lead, Chris our Comms Lead and me co-ordinating us all.


Chris: Wicked! So what actually is the project? Have you folks got any objectives or aims?

Beav: So the project is about collecting stories of people’s everyday experiences of life during the pandemic, to find out what really matters in their world and community. We want a diverse range of stories that can be used to show others what covid life has looked like in new creative ways, we’re thinking flashmobs, broadcasts into people’s homes ( a public living room in your living room) and any other general craziness that can be dreamed up! The whole project is funded by the National Lottery Emerging Futures Fund, which has been set up to help communities move towards recovery after Covid-19, they want to find out the impact of the pandemic, how life has changed, what is needed and what is possible to achieve.


Chris: And why is it so important for us to be doing this project?

Beav: The Camerados movement is in a unique position to take part, we have folk all across the UK with diverse experiences of the pandemic and are able to give them and their communities a voice to share what Covid-19 has been like for them.


Chris: It really feels as if we are at the start of something special! So how can the folk within the movement get involved?

Beav: Folk across the movement can help us by coming to one of the #StorySpoonRoom sessions we’ve set up or give a 1-1 interview of their experiences or they could train as a community reporter and collect stories from folk in their community.


Chris: Brilliant! Well is the last from me Beav but what are the key dates/ what should we be keeping an eye out for?

Beav: Well there is some training next week (Tuesday 29th October) for folk who are interested in becoming community reporters for us (still time to take part if you would like to just email us at and then the #StorySpoonRooms are on:

Mon 2 Nov 3-4.30pm register  to join here

Tues 3 Nov 7-8.30pm register to join here

Fri 6 Nov 10.30am-midday register to join here

Tues 10 Nov 8-9.30pm register to join here

Watch out for lots of broadcasts using the stories in the new year.


Thanks again Beav and I can’t wait to see what happens over the next while.

See you soon #camerados

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