How storytelling transcends barriers in hospitals by Readathon storyteller, Graham.
8th June 2016
Readathon sessions are going from strength to strength at Hull Royal Infirmary. Every six weeks I take my stories and promote Readathon’s wonderful bookcase in Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Hull Royal Infirmary. Recently in Hull, I had a lovely visit with a girl who I’d met at a previous session there; she was back in hospital and feeling miserable. However, during my visit, and a few stories later, it was lovely to see both her and her Mum had cheered up no end. Her Mum said it was nice to see her daughter smiling – and I couldn’t agree more.
In the afternoon, I visited a 12-year old with considerable special needs. As I started telling her a story, her interest and attention began to grow. She snuggled into her Mum and listened to the story, transfixed. Then in conversation, I discovered that Mum was Polish and although she’s been living here for seven years, she spoke very little English, largely because she spends fairly isolated days with her daughter. Though her daughter can’t speak she can understand quite a lot of both English and Polish. However, the beauty of storytelling means that both Mum and daughter were able to understand and enjoy the story together.
Storytelling in hospitals can breakdown all sorts of barriers, and bring smiles to weary faces.