Fulfilled living in later life

Friday 8th March 2024

Tell me a story

Alison, 75, loves to read aloud to children at the local library and has found she can also use her skill to benefit others living at Royd Court, our independent living housing scheme in Mirfield

Pilgrims Friend Royd Court Alison

“My husband Jack and I moved to Royd Court in July 2021 and I saw that the local library was in walking distance. I enjoyed reading to children at the library where we used to live in the Lake District and found out that there was a story time here too. Now I go in and read stories to children every Tuesday. I used to be a nursery nurse before becoming a midwife and I love being surrounded by under-fives!

“I really enjoy reading aloud – putting on all the funny voices. It’s so important for children to feel books and see books and, importantly, see you enjoying them too. It all helps with building language and helping them to learn about the world. Among my favourites to read are classics by Shirley Hughes and Beatrix Potter, as well as Julia Donaldson.

“Many of the children who come to us are very little, under three, so I’ll pepper the session with rhymes and songs, things like The Wheels On The Bus and Row, Row, Row Your Boat.

“It’s not just the children at the library I read to... There is a lady living at Royd Court who can’t see very well and so one day I offered to read to her. I think the idea came from my father who was a GP. He used to cheer up some of his patients by reading to them (times were different!). I remember that he read The Pilgrim’s Progress to a young man who was dying of cancer.

“I thought that maybe the lady might enjoy The Pilgrim’s Progress too and found an edition with nice pictures in. We were reading in the lounge and when some of the others heard me they started listening in. It’s become a regular Friday event. After The Pilgrim’s Progress, we read some biographies of hymn writers and The Birds Our Teachers by John Stott. We’ve since moved on to some children’s classics – Heidi, The Secret Garden and The Wind In The Willows. The other day, Vicki, the Manager at Royd Court, came into the lounge and said ‘it’s just like Jackanory in here’!”

Pilgrims Friend Royd Court Alision2
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