How the Ministry of Stories is helping kids be creative

Tucked away in the heart of east London, Ministry of Stories is a charity that aims to encourage the artist in every child, through after-school clubs based in creativity and collaboration. We chat with the team behind it about how it works

Hidden away amidst the trendy bustle of bars, cafés and food trucks that makes up Shoreditch is an unexpected store titled Hoxton Street Monster Supplies. Inside you can not only write a letter to a monster of your choosing and receive a heartfelt, eloquent reply but also partake in some truly monstrous-sounding food, including werewolf biscuits (excellent for lycanthropes on the go), blood drops (no fangs necessary) and toasted bone chunks (made from only the finest Englishmen).

It turns out, though, that the quirky little store is in fact a front for something else entirely: step through the secret door (if you can find it, of course), and you’ll find where the magic really happens: via a playful little charity called the Ministry of Stories, which aims to bring out the creativity in every child. The charity runs sessions for kids aged 8 to 12 from Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Islington twice a week after school, which are run by volunteers (for full disclosure, I have been one of these volunteers for the past year).