An Italian love story, penguins on glaciers and a miracle of the elements are all spoken tales from blind and partially sighted people who embarked on a storytelling course.
The group, supported by sight loss charity Galloway’s, was led by actor and storyteller Elizabeth Wainwright, who guided participants through a series of recall activities to boost their creativity and imagination. At the end of the 12-week course, members of the group were able to individually tell stories and create realistic sound effects.
This was all delivered over the phone through the Galloway’s Talking Together service and was made possible thanks to a grant of £3,165 from The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust.
Elizabeth Wainwright said: “It has been a pleasure working with the group over the past 12 weeks. They are a lovely bunch and really fun. They have shown a real hunger and passion to understand what I have been telling them, to show it and then tell it.
“They have been learning about how their story is a gift to pass to people and focusing on how they want people to feel about their story. “There has been lots of sharing of memories, which has been lovely and I hope they have really enjoyed it.
“They have done incredibly well and are now able to tell entertaining stories that mean something to the listener.”
One of the participants was Jean Wood, 87, of Chorley, whose story was about a widowed dancer who learned to fall in love again. She said: “These sessions have taken us away from it all for an hour. I have felt a different person and been able to have conversations on different things that I would not have been able to do otherwise. It replaces people not being there and you feel part of a group.”
Another participant, Mosie Wild, of Horwich, 67, created a fantasy story about a penguin on ice glaciers. She said: “Everybody got a lot from being involved in the sessions and talking to each other. We got to know each other so well and now it has finished, I would like to look at carrying on ourselves, using the skills Elizabeth taught us.”
Galloway’s, which supports people across Lancashire and Sefton, has a varied programme of events for blind and partially sighted people through its Talking Together service. This includes a book club, quizzes, guest speakers and a monthly virtual pub social in the evening. For more information, visit: https://www.galloways.org.uk/talking-together