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National Share a Story Month.

May is the month and its National Share A Story Month 2024! This enchanting time is dedicated to honouring the profound impact of storytelling. It’s a call to action for individuals of all ages to engage in the art of storytelling, be it through reading, writing, or oral traditions, igniting imagination and strengthening community bonds.

In the spirit of this celebration, we’re thrilled to share a tale from one of our Warrington Housing Association tenants and Lifetime members, David Ball. David graciously agreed to share one of his short stories with us, inviting everyone to immerse themselves in the magic of narrative.

The Power of Connections- David Ball 

“You really don’t remember me, do you?” the guy asked after he’d said hello and shaken my hand. “It’s John, isn’t it?”

“That’s right…..Do we know each other because I’ve got a terrible memory for names.”

“My name’s Tom. We met briefly and I’ll always be grateful for that,” he said, whatever the hell that meant.

“I’m nearly sixty years old. My memory’s not as good as it was, I’m afraid, and my brain cells are abandoning ship,” I said in a lame attempt at humour.” You’ll have to give me a clue.”

“Would you like a drink, first?” he asked.

I was in that Wetherspoons to kill time before catching the train home. Out of luck and nearly out of money, I was tired of failing at job interviews and the chain’s unlimited coffee was just what I needed. But even more than that, I was unhappy with my lackluster life, that my employment had only evet been low level stuff whereas people from my long-ago schooldays were doing interesting, well paid, prestigious jobs. With loving families and umpteen friends around them, whereas I was still single, had missed out on being a dad and granddad and had led what I believed to be a boring life.


I checked the time and told him I’d have whatever he was having. As he went to the bar and waited to be served, I lamented how strangers were now taking pity on me. Did I really look that pathetic? Anyhow, he eventually came back, such is the marathon of waiting for service in a Wetherspoons at this time of day.

He settled into the seat opposite me and smiled and my first thought was that my hair was stuck up from the wind outside. But it wasn’t that. He took his mobile out and put it on the table between us, smiling again.

“Back in 2015, “he began, “I was in a bad way, and I was planning to take my own life. I was estranged from my family and had been for a good while. I was lonely and lost, living away from home and I had no support network around me. Christmas always made things worse, and I was as miserable as I’d ever felt. So ending it all seemed the logical thing to do and I’d planned to do it that evening.

“Then you sat down next to me. You told me you’d been shopping and needed to rest your feet, you asked me how I was, You actually listened while I told you….. Lots of people would have changed the subject or walked off. But you didn’t make excuses and you didn’t leave. You just listened and asked occasional questions so I could clarify and you could understand better. You weren’t preachy or judgmental when I acknowledged my mistakes. You just gave me the precious gift of your time.”

“That was you? Now I remember.”

“Yes, John. And you saved me,” he said putting his hand on my arm for several seconds.

“You gave me a bar of dark chocolate and a box of peppermint tea you’d bought for yourself, telling me that they both had feel-good chemicals in them. ‘I can always buy some more but you need them more than me,’ you said by way of explanation, and we sat there until I was all talked out.”

He brought a picture up on his mobile and showed it to me. “This amazing, lovable, loving child is my daughter, Ellie. She brings joy and lightness into the lives of everyone she meets. And without you, none of that would have been possible.”


He paused as if to marshall his thoughts then went on to say that, at my suggestion, he’d reconnected with his family. He moved back home – the town where I was – to start afresh. He’d gone back to college, rediscovered the joy of learning and ended up going to university as a mature student.


“Where I met the lady who would become my wife and the mother of my little girl.” He put his hand on mine and continued.


“Since graduating I volunteer with a mental health charity because I’ve been there and it sucks.  I hope that, one day, I too can save someone the way you saved me. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Would you allow me to give you a hug?”


I nodded and we got up. I moved to his side of the table and we stood holding each other for a good minute. As we parted we both had tears in our eyes and I watched him as he left and walked into the distance. I left shortly afterwards a better, wiser, humbler man for having my eyes opened to the impact a life can have on this tatty old world of ours.

If David’s story has inspired, you to get creative with words, write a story or poem then why not come along to one of our Lifetime Creative Writing Activities.

Bold Street Writers- 10:00am-12:00pm every Thursday in The Gateway

The Open Gate- Writing and Poetry Class with Terry Caffrey 10:30am-12:30pm in Lifetime.

For more information contact the Lifetime Team

01925 246824,

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