#transplantstories, the Story So Far

With only 3 days to go until the British Transplant Games (BTG) begin in North Lanarkshire this Thursday, I thought I would spend 20 minutes providing a quick update about the #transplantstories project that we have been working on as a partnership between the University of the West of Scotland and North Lanarkshire Council.


Over a year ago now, I gave a presentation about the Digital Commonwealth project and the benefits of event-focused, community-led citizen journalism at the National Communication Academy (a one day event for senior public sector communication professionals), I was approached by Colin Fraser from North Lanarkshire Council who was interested in doing a similar project with young people ahead of the BTGs in 2017.


Since then, working with the team at UWS (David McGillivray, James Mahon and Elizabeth McLaughlin) we have been delivering a 10 week of course of learning on Hamilton Campus of UWS covering digital storytelling, social reporting and sports journalism to group of young people aged between 13 t0 17.

They have now been accredited officially as journalists, working to cover the Transplant Games events as media reporters and uploading their blog posts, video and photographs to the Transplant Stories website over the course of the weekend.


During their training, the group have learned basic camera and presenting skills, sports interviews and video editing – before moving on to blogging, writing for the web and utilising social media to get their stories out, developing their own voice online and sharing access to the @transplantstor1 twitter account.

The aim is to find, capture and amplify the community stories of the games and the participants. They have already interviewed people who have donated or been a recipient of a transplant, from Coatbridge to Adelaide as part of the workshops, as well as speaking to a local film maker, games volunteers and elected representatives who have been involved in recent changes to the transplant laws in Scotland.

Between Thursday to Sunday, two teams will be based across North Lanarkshire at the Transplant Games venues (using the UWS mobile campus and the official media tents), working to produce content to a deadline and uploaded to the project website. I will be working with them closely to help them get the stories out to the right people on social media.

Once they are done, the teams will be able to use their content as evidence to help them apply for a dynamic youth award or a Saltire volunteering award to accredit their learning.


If you want to follow what the young people are up to over the next few days, you can visit:

the website, youtube and twitter account – as well as keeping up to date on the hashtag #transplantstories