Once upon a time…the BBC Morning Live team heard an amazing 8 year-old called Ezekiel talking about Read for Good’s books and stories on Zoe Ball’s Radio 2 Breakfast Show during Children in Need. Excited by the idea of telling stories to children in hospital at Christmas, they decided to make a special feature for their end-of-series Christmas show!
Presenters Gethin Jones and Kimberley Walsh meet Read for Good storyteller Wilf Merttens on a set twinkling with Christmas lights, and create some Christmas magic of their own for children in hospitals all over the UK.
From around 14m 25s into the episode, you can find out how they got on:
Wilf is just one of nine Read for Good professional storytellers helping children to escape into their imagination, whether through choosing a brand new book from Read for Good’s mobile bookcase, listening to stories in the oral tradition, or creating empowering and therapeutic stories of their own. Throughout the pandemic, developing digital storytelling techniques has been a vital means of reaching children isolated by hospital visiting restrictions, and these virtual sessions have taught our team some skills too.
In an ordinary year, we provide the UK’s 30 major children’s hospitals with over 27,000 brand new, infection-free books, including picture books and prize-winners, and 224 storytelling days, reaching at least 150,000 children. You can find out about our work in each below, and discover which hospital is closest to you.
If the words ‘please tell me a story’ make you break into a sweat, then this free training course is definitely for you! As well as exploring the incredible benefits of storytelling for children, this video and its accompanying notes provide some very simple steps to help you create stories that every child in your life will love.
Donating to our work means that more children will get to experience the joy of their stories ending with ‘happy ever after’: