Former bookshop owner shares tales with tots during National Storytelling Week


Helen Paiba, an 83 year old lady receiving respite care at Dell Field Court residential care home, drew on her experience of running a children’s bookshop to share stories with little ones from local childminding service, Smile and Shine, during National Storytelling Week.

Children from Smile and Shine paid a special visit to Dell Field Court in Finchley, run by care provider and charity, The Fremantle Trust, on Friday 2nd February to listen to stories being told and to talk about their favourite books. The event was organised to celebrate the value of intergenerational activities and to explore the power of imagination.

In her time running a bookshop in Muswell Hill, Helen worked with publishers to compile a series of children’s books and is still passionate about the role that storytelling plays as a compelling way of connecting people.

In the same week residents at Apthorp Care Centre in New Southgate, also run by the Trust, visited children at Little Leo’s Nursery to learn about their favourite books and to share their own memories of treasured tales. Apthorp Care Centre has established a great relationship with Little Leo’s and prides itself on these strong community links.

Commenting on the storytelling activity at Dell Field Court, Helen said: “During my time at the bookshop, I found it very rewarding to be able to recommend books for every event a child might encounter in their life. Stories offer insight and explore life situations in a way that can really relate to children and help them.”

Fiona Swynnerton, leisure and lifestyle manager at The Fremantle Trust, added: “Our events for National Storytelling Week were a lovely opportunity to examine how stories stand the test of time. Books are a brilliant way of inspiring reminiscence and prompting meaningful conversations.”

Jo Head, regional director of older people’s services at The Fremantle Trust commented: “National Storytelling Week was a great opportunity to bring people together from all generations and cultures through the power of story and imagination. These links will hopefully continue bringing further benefit and learning to all those involved.”


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