A Career in Storytelling
Being first and foremost, a strong minded, and successful, businesswoman, it was an unexpected incident that led Rona to change careers almost 25yrs ago. While she was looking for the right schools for her two newly adopted sons, (2yryr old 5yr old brothers, adding to the family of her 3 grown up children) she took a 6 month sabbatical from work to get them settled into a good local school where she volunteered to tell stories to the pupils to allow her to get a feel for the school and decide if it was right for her boys.This turned out as a hugely successful venture, and she was asked to return again and again. When the head master of one of the schools said that he thought she should be getting paid for her efforts, she agreed, she then set out to build a successful career as a storyteller before giving up her well paid but stressful, high-flying career and has never looked back.
Alongside her growing love of storytelling in schools, Rona became a NIACE Consultant in Education, Tutoring the Lecturers and Teachers in Universities on using Storytelling as a Teaching Tool. Through NIACE, she also wrote and delivered lesson plans for teachers in schools up and down the country.
As a Director on The Board of The Society for Storytelling (SfS) for 6 years, she organised the initial launch of their website at The House of Commons which was a resounding success and led to many ongoing opportunities for the society. She has lectured at Universities in the UK and carried out workshops as far afield as Russia and the USA. She has amassed over 15.000 hours of storytelling in schools and colleges which makes her something of an expert.
Commissioned as STORYTELLER IN RESIDENCE FOR SALFORD AND TRAFFORD SCHOOLS FOR A PERIOD OF 8 YEARS, Rona’s mantra is that storytelling can and does change lives and should be part of a child’s education. It is their heritage and their right. Without this, how else will they learn who they are, where they belong, where they fit in society, who cares about them and who will teach them how to understand about empathy and rapport? Something which we now know is lacking and yet is vital to a child’s mental health and well-being and we know that this is even more urgent right now as our young people today, struggle with an everchanging world that they don’t understand.
Rona’s first-born son was born with brain damage and is autistic. In an effort to understand more about his condition this led to her background, studying Psychology followed by a dedicated lifetime of study of the human psyche. Rona has coached, mentored, supported, and tutored not only storytellers over many years but also those in the fields of commerce, education, medicine, healing, the NHS, and the acting professions. Her unique lectures have been described as captivating, enthralling, humorous and life changing and best of all, she is always willing to share her incredible knowledge of how to enhance your speaking and listening communication skills, using simple, highly effective and unique storytelling techniques.
Rona regularly hosts online storytelling sessions and occasionally runs Not for Profit Training Sessions on how to be a successful storyteller, this work is carried out on behalf of the charities she supports:
Mac Millan Nurses
Without a doubt one of the most successful, independent career storytellers of our time, when asked what she thinks makes her so successful, Rona puts this down to the fact that first of all, she was lucky to have been born into a family where everything was learned by verbal communication through story and it is the messages within the stories that are successful and, also that she works hard, enjoys audience appreciation, although tends to shun the limelight and is dedicated to the one simple, joyful and rare belief that as humans, we are all of and should regard ourselves as, equal status and should be more respectful to, and responsible for each other!