Sef Townsend​


Thanks for visiting my website!

I have been telling, sharing and listening to stories,

singing songs and running participatory arts projects since, at least, the last century.

Learn More

 NEWS! NEWS! NEWS!  .............................

- Back in schools from mid April,  and telling in a safe and socially distanced way, sharing stories and songs with Everyday Magic Storytellers, so that the children can get back into the imaginative world of stories. This will to help them adjust socially and emotionally after so long at home and, if lucky enough, so much time in front of screens,  

- Working on a new book with Anne Johnson, 'London's River Folktales for Children' as an addition to 'London Folktales for Children' as shown below:


(History Press)

written by Anne Johnson and me,

with illustrations by Belinda Evans, was published during National Storytelling Week in January 

A sparkling collection of unexpected tales! Fiona Collins


all copies sold and the publishers have had to go for a second printing!

A sparkling collection of unexpected tales! Fiona Collins

London's psycho-geography, mapped in a collection of tales . Tremblr 

See London with new eyes! A joy for story lovers and storytellers. Xanthe Gresham

These are some of the areas I work in:

Refugee Communities


Interfaith & Cross-Cultural Projects

Peace and Reconciliation Initiatives


Language Learning         

 Schools' work in Santiago de Chile


Much of my work has been spent with refugees, people in exile and their children and families.Traditional stories are often a safe way of speaking the unspeakable, but the teller (the refugee) has the wonderful feeling of being heard. There is an emphasis on participants telling, retelling, remembering. voicing, singing the stories, most of which are traditional stories, most often from the refugees' own background. The telling of one's own personal story is a larger and more fraught issue: Sometimes when a refugee mother in faltering English, or in her own language and English, with help from friends, is telling a traditional story about loss, loneliness, justice etc. it comes across so powerfully, that everyone knows that it is HER story. She doesn't need to tell us that this did or did not happen to her. We know that she is feeling the story through her own experience.

I also work with groups of people who would like to use storytelling in their own work with asylum seekers, asylum detainees and refugees. Recent workshops have been held in the U.K., Greece and Belgium.


With the wonderful Charlie Higgs of Everyday Magic

I am so proud to be a part of Everyday Magic Storytelling which is a group of professional storytellers, musicians and visual artists committed to bringing live storytelling and music into London schools. I have also been working in schools in Chile, Argentina and China with Dream On Productions, doing similar work internationally. 

Schools' Storytelling and Workshop Tour, China 

Words used with teachers :

Literacy - Numeracy - Oracy

Development of Listening Skills

Speaking Skills - Social Skills

Coordination Skills -

National Curriculum Minimum requirements

Words used with children :

Sing - Tell - Move

Listen - Whisper - Shout

Dance - Enjoy - Share

Interfaith & Cross-Cultural Projects

I have worked in Mosques,  Synagogues, Meeting Houses, Churches and many Interfaith and Cross-Cultural Projects where one of my favourite questions is to ask people which faith community they think the story comes from. So often people think that the Jewish story they have heard and enjoyed, is Islamic, or the Muslim story has a Christian message. They are often amazed when I tell them that the tradition it comes from is not what they thought. I often hear, "that's just like one of ours".. . And, in a way, that's half of what I'm trying to get across i.e. other people are just like us! 

                                                                         Working with Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Druze & Atheists,Galilee, The Holy Land

Peace& Reconciliation

I have been involved in Peace& Reconciliation projects since the early 90s in London, Northern Ireland and in Armenia-Azerbaijan; I worked in Israel and Palestine on the 2009 Healing Words Project led by Roi Gal-Or from the International School of Storytelling, and have continued to regularly visit such places as Nablus and the troubled city of El Khalil-Hebron in the West Bank. I have worked with various wonderful Israeli organisations who actively promote dialogue and contact despite the conflict, including working with Palestinians and Bedouin living in Israel, and with Palestinians trying to farm their own land 'illegally' in the southern hills around Yatta/Sousia. 

Nearer to home I have had an very active involvment with The Foundation for Peace in Warrington, England , The Corrymeela Community and with The Sustainable Peace Network based at Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, Co. Wicklow, Ireland Our work in the SPN has included projects in Northern Ireland, Scotland, The Republic of Ireland, and South Africa.

Peacework South Africa:

Peacework Palestine/Israel:


Libraries will often use my stories in National Book Week, Story Walks and Local History Trails, working with Heritage Collections, or with the national collection at The British Library.

Language Learning

Working with child learners of English was my entry into the world of storytelling. I found that whenever I told a story (often with vocabulary and language structure 'unknown' to them) they were immediately engrossed, and language acquisition was much more rapid with those children who had stories than with those who didn't.