RONA Barbour founded Altrincham Story Telling Club 20 years ago and, despite health problems, has already held the first meeting of a Children’s Story Telling Club.

The 70-year-old, from Altrincham, held the first junior meeting three weeks ago and was delighted that, even without publicity, 13 five to 12-year-olds came along.

“The children learn listening and speaking skills and, more importantly, empathy and rapport.

“At present, everything they do is visual, based on iPads, etc. Modern kids have no communication skills. They watch American cartoons all about fighting.

“Mothers on mobile phones don’t talk to their children.

“If you don’t have cognitive skills, you cannot learn.

“I put them at their ease and they feel comfortable,” she said.

Rona also tells stories in schools without charge.

Rona, who is also president of the South Manchester Speakers Club, has travelled the world telling stories.

In 2014, she gave a presentation about the power of story telling to the American Art Therapy Association’s 49th annual conference in San Antonio, Texas.

A year later, she also recited myths and legends at Pedagogical University in Perm, Russia’s second largest city.

Since then, she almost lost her life twice.

She suffered a brain haemorrhage in 2014, followed in 2015 by melanoma.

“I tell stories about both these occasions to make people take quick action if it happens to them.”

For further information, contact or telephone 07817 681 719. Pre-booking recommended.

• The next children’s storytelling session will take place on Sunday, April 22, at St. Greorge’s Parish Hall, Church Walk Altrincham between 1pm and 3pm.

• Adult classes are held there on the last Saturday of the month at 7.30pm. Admission is £5 including supper and a glass of bubbly.