This toolkit is for activists, youth workers and teachers to enable them to share the power of storytelling with young people and in turn empower them to participate and share their story for personal development and societal change. Learn the tools and skills needed to collect and use personal stories to effect change within the following four stages: PAST PRESENT FUTURE CHANGE.

Who’s behind Past Present Future Change?

Rory Doherty

Over this past 13 years with Quaker Service, Rory Doherty has dedicated his professional life to empowering the voices of marginalised young people in Northern Ireland. His most recent publication ‘My Story’ documented a series of emotive narrations of real life from the perspective of young people, women and refugee and asylum seekers living in a post-conflict society.

In 2018 Rory was awarded with a fellowship from the Social Change Initiative which enabled him to develop and create the Past Present Future Change toolkit which highlights the power of storytelling for social change within a post conflict society.

The process of storytelling can be an intensely emotional process of reflection, self-evaluation and personal growth for those who participate in it. Everyone has a story to tell but few people ever get the chance to tell theirs.

Rory states, “The participants often realise that they have to return to their past and share their experiences so they can move forward and look to a brighter future. Often participants talk about a past filled with pain, suffering, abuse and or addiction. A safe, supportive environment is crucial within the group as those who feel empowered during the process begin to share their story. Often the participants get to a place where they can find hope for their future and the knowledge that through sharing their stories, others who may be experiencing abuse, trauma or need help can find the courage to speak out and ask for help”.

Delivery Agency

Quaker Service is a Quaker charity which provides support for people in Northern Ireland going through difficult times. By delivering practical, social and emotional support services that value and empower people just where they are, we play our part in reducing violence, suffering and disadvantage. Our work is often with those in our society who are the most forgotten, unpopular or sometimes viewed as “undeserving”. Simply put, our core purpose is to make love visible.

Over the past decade, Quaker Service has delivered a range of therapeutic storytelling projects which have not only been transformational, but have highlighted an awareness of needs for the individuals involved and for their communities. More information on Quaker Service can be found here: quakerservice.com


The Social Change Initiative (SCI) was established in 2015 and is an international charity. Based in Belfast (Northern Ireland), it draws together people with deep experience of grassroots activism, peace building, advocacy and strategic philanthropy. The organisation works both globally and locally to secure progressive social change, so that communities become more inclusive, fairer and peaceful.

SCI focuses on influencing policy, practice, behaviours and attitudes and believes that social change is most effective and sustainable when those most impacted are involved in defining and securing the change they need. It supports the development of effective and sustainable activism to bring about social change. It also supports maximising the impact of funding to support social change. More information on SCI can be found here: www.socialchangeinitiative.com