A day of events at Storyhouse in Chester, exploring a childless adult life, has been co-organised by a University of Chester academic.
Dr Dawn Llewellyn, from the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University, has curated Storyhouse Childless with the Community Programme Manager there, Nicola Haigh, and local childlessness network, Chester Gateway Women.
Storyhouse Childless takes place on Sunday, November 10, and is a day specifically for anyone who is childless not because of choice – whether that is due to infertility, circumstance, or other factors. It will be a safe space to raise awareness and challenge taboos. The events will address societal expectations, insensitivity and media stereotypes – in particular the narrative that childless individuals are less happy than those with children.
Nicola Haigh, Community Manager at Storyhouse, said: “Since Storyhouse opened, there have been events on childlessness included in some of the Storyhouse Women programmes, including talks from Jody Day and Lizzie Lowrie. Earlier this year, we were approached by a member of the Chester Gateway meet-up group, which is part of a global network for people who are childless, set up by Jody Day. They asked if there could be more events on this topic. This conversation was the first step towards programming an entire day dedicated to this community. With the help of Chester Gateway and Dr Dawn Llewellyn, this programme was co-created.”
Dr Dawn Llewellyn said: “There has been an increase in childlessness in the UK because of infertility, involuntary childlessness, childlessness by circumstances, and because more people are choosing not to have children. The Storyhouse Childless event explores these experiences, particularly when so much of our world is focused on the family and having children.
“There’s an inspiring programme of presentations, workshop, and panels including a key note from Jody Day, the founder of Gateway Women, author, psychotherapist and TEDx speaker. There are talks on early menopause, how infertility impacts men, a performance by Scottish musician Chiara Beradelli, childlessness and LGBTQI people, and what childlessness means for women of colour. It will be a challenging, moving, and fascinating day about a topic that is still a taboo.”
This week, Dr Llewellyn was interviewed for Sunday, Radio 4’s flagship programme for ethical and religious current affairs, about her research on Christian attitudes towards childlessness.
Tickets are £15 for a day pass if bought in advance, and £20 if bought on the day. Each day pass allows free entrance to all events listed during the day which starts at 11am and ends at 6.45pm. To find out more, or book, please visit: https://www.storyhouse.com/childless