Minister of the Month – Charlotte Cromie
Meet Minister of the Month, Charlotte, who started volunteering at Ministry of Stories during her gap year in 2014 and never left!
After almost six years of mentoring, being a shopkeeper at Hoxton Street Monster Supplies and bravely being The Chief’s Assistant, Charlotte became a fully fledged workshop facilitator this year. She now leads some of our Storymaking Workshops with visiting primary schools.
Charlotte feels her volunteering has helped her to realise, ‘No one has all the answers, and you have to give yourself room to make mistakes’.
Name: Charlotte Cromie
Hail from: Camden
Volunteer roles: Fearless shopkeeper, writing mentor, The Chief’s Assistant and now Storymaking workshop facilitator
Favourite story and why:
I’m a Theatre Monster, so I find scripts the easiest stories to read. I have a real soft spot for Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia for its warmth, wit and wisdom. And I’ve grown up with Stephen Sondheim’s musicals all through my life so they stir all kinds of emotions for me!
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
Theatre Monster (as aforementioned), though often mistaken for a werewolf due to what some might describe as ‘excessively long hair’.
Why did you decide to volunteer with the Ministry of Stories?
I started volunteering when I was eighteen because I wanted to do something story-related during my gap year.
Were you nervous about anything before starting?
Being eighteen, I was scared of both children and adults as I was no longer one and not yet the other. I was terrified of getting it wrong, getting in trouble, and embarrassing myself. Then I realised that no one has all the answers, and you have to give yourself room to make mistakes.
Has volunteering changed anything in your life?
I joined the Ministry at such a formative age, and was in there about three times a week for an entire year. It basically taught me how to be an adult! I’ve realised I can work with children and lead workshops. What’s more, when I applied for a job as a retail assistant on Jermyn Street to fund my master’s degree, volunteering in Hoxton Street Monster Supplies was the retail experience that qualified me for the job! Surprising where your Ministry journey can take you…
How do you feel about your journey from volunteer to freelancer?
The variety of amazing people I’ve met at the Ministry has been humbling. Whether we’ve been making the magic happen in workshops, keeping each other company in the shop, letting our hair down at socials or helping each other to help our young writers (aka Junior Ministers), the time I’ve spent with other volunteers has made me who I am. I was beyond thrilled to become a workshop facilitator for Storymaking this year.
What would you say to other people thinking of volunteering with the Ministry?
This is a safe, relaxed, welcoming place to volunteer, even if you’re only a small shy monster who’s scared of humans, like I was. It’s also a place where volunteers aren’t just a means to an end. You’ll be valued. This is a space for you as much as for our Junior Ministers. You won’t regret being part of it.
Describe the Ministry of Stories in three words:
Small. But. Unstoppable.