Camerados is a global movement that began with one man, Maff Potts in a small town near Oxford, England. A few years later it has spread its kooky ways of bringing people together to help each other to the far corners of the world.
Camerados do things a bit differently to most other community organisations. They do wonderful colourful things such as putting TeePee's into hospitals so patients, visitors and staff can have a space that is theirs. They create non-clinical spaces in clinical environments and are constantly challenging systems to change. They also pop up public living rooms all over the world.
Camerados champion the idea of people helping each other as human beings through tough times. People help each other and help themselves. The movement which is growing daily aims to reduce loneliness by creating friends and purpose through the use of human spaces. Stepping into a TeePee or Public Living Room is magical and nostalgic tapping into my childhood memories of building dens.
As I mentioned this movement is now global on account of Camerados not being precious about ownership and power. They encourage other organisations, institutions, communities, and cities around the world to build their own human spaces and join together in a global movement of Camerados.
There are public living rooms all over the UK in towns, cities, villages, universities and schools some big some small but all unique whilst living the simple principles of Camerados, human principles. There are public living rooms in America such as Baltimore and NewYork, they exist in Europe and Australia with more being created as the movement grows.
This kind of kooky, creative, left of centre thing appeals to me. I also love that these community-owned human spaces also combat loneliness, encourage conversations and swell with the stories of life. Camerados wanted to find a way to collect these stories to share across the world. They wanted someone who not only was good at collecting and telling stories but could also offer these to the world in simple yet creative ways. So they asked Myself and Dotty if we would work with them to pilot some Camerados story ideas and thus The Story Department was born.