Around every corner … our Readathon storytellers entertain more than just the patients in hospital!

In the school session there were some great kids. There was this one boy from Czechoslovakia. They told me he didn’t speak English. I tried to make the story as physical as possible but the whole time he just kept his head down, methodically working down a page of sums. I thought that he was getting nothing from the story, and the teacher obviously did too, for at one point she told him that he could go back to his room. He shook his head and pointed at me, then flashed a broad grin – as if to say: “I’m staying with THIS guy!”

There was a little girl called Sabita there too. I’ve met her before. She is incredibly clever and also a right little terror (the way clever people often are). She kept guessing the end of the story before I got to it. I ’m going to make up some fiendish mysteries for next time, in order to out-fox her. Just you wait girl!

As I was coming to the end of my day of storytelling at Addenbrook’s Hospital, I saw many superb people – and I’d like to tell you about one. The very last story I told was to a wonderful girl called Maisy. I thought that I was too tired to carry on by this point, but when Maisy and I had chatted about books and I saw how enthusiastic she was about what Readathon are doing, I felt a second wind coming on.

I told her a story all the way from Scotland about a lonely giant. There’s a lot of stomping around and clowning in this tale, and Maisy was in bits. Her family were listening as well, and a playworker, not to mention a clutch of medical staff who couldn’t help being drawn in and gathering round too. In the end I had a right little crowd. There is a bit where I sing in the story, in a gloriously tuneless style (which is the only style I have so far mastered) at the top of my voice. Maisy thought this was hilarious.

I said my goodbyes and left. As I went round the corner with the trolley I almost knocked over a very distinguished-looking nurse. She had been hiding there and listening in…

Wilf the Storyteller

Emileigh, Kimberley, Madison, Molly, and Wilf at Addensbrook
Emileigh, Kimberley, Madison, Molly, and Wilf at Addenbrooks