Minister of the Month – Andrew Miles
Meet our Minister of the Month Andrew Miles. Andrew, known as ‘Sandwich Man’ by our young writers*, loves watching sports, has one cat, four chickens and always comes to workshops with a sense of humour. He always finds ways to encourage and motivate even the most reluctant writers.
Writing Mentor and Monster Shopkeeper
Favourite story and why:
Bill the Galactic Hero by Harry Harrison – it’s a sci-fi absurdist parody of the US involvement in Vietnam. What’s not to like?
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I’m married with one cat (it was two until this week) and four chickens. I watch a lot of rugby and drink beer, often at the same time. I also watch a lot of cricket and drink beer. I also just drink beer. I might have a problem.
Why did you decide to volunteer with Ministry of Stories?
I was originally aware of the 826 programme in the USA via McSweeney’s, and when the Ministry of Stories launched in London I became a supporter. Then I had the opportunity to give some of my time to volunteering and it just seemed natural that I should be at the Ministry.
Were you nervous about anything before starting?
Not knowing any of the adults, any of the children or what I was doing! But then it turns out that the adults are all very friendly, the children take you as they find you and it’s actually pretty hard to go wrong if you have enthusiasm.
What has been the best experience of volunteering?
We did a story making session with a group of young people who were all on the autistic spectrum. To engage with them and get them to produce some work was a real endeavour, and was very rewarding when it worked.
What has been the most unexpected thing about volunteering?
It has given me a real insight into the lives of the local children and their horizons and outlook on life.
Has volunteering changed anything in your life?
It has made me want to continue to volunteer here at the MoS and to rearrange other aspects of my life to allow me to do it.
Describe the Ministry of Stories in three words:
Boisterous, beneficial, bibliophilic
What would you say to other people thinking of volunteering with the Ministry?
It’s a very rewarding experience however, whatever, wherever and whenever you are able to contribute, whoever you are.