Sue is a professional storyteller and facilitator, working with a wide range of stories, from ancient myth to personal narratives.
Sue believes in using her wide range of experience to enable the personal development of her clients. As a narrative practitioner she explores people's connection to their own stories and to others. It is these connections that determine who and how we are in the world.
She has over 20 years' experience as a musculo-skeletal physiotherapist in the NHS where she worked in busy departments as part of a multi disciplinary team as well as working with patients with a variety of conditions from mental health to fractured bones. Listening to the many different stories of illness and health, mental and physical journeys, she began to focus on the connection between the mind and body.
Alongside this Sue developed a number of related interests working with people from all walks of life. Reconnecting with her passion for theatre she went to drama school where she developed her thinking on characterisation and how to connect with the audience.
She honed her performance skills as an actress and used these to facilitate drama workshops with the aim of enhancing personal communication and confidence with young offenders, migrants and refugees. She heard stories of conflict and violence, of journeys through the prison system and across borders that often left people on the edges of society. Her exposure to these stories and her strong belief in equality as well as interest in other cultures were part of her decision to do an MA in Human Rights. This led to her specialising in the use of drama in post conflict societies such as Sierra Leone and Bosnia Herzegovina, and she is now a trustee of Most Mira, a charity that uses the creative arts to develop tolerance across cultures in Bosnia.
Sue is particularly interested in the connecting and reconnecting of circles that bring the different threads of her experience together. One common thread has been that of the active listener of stories highlighting the critical connection between teller and listener.
Sue initially trained at the International School of Storytelling under renowned storytellers Roi D’Or and Ashley Ramsden, gaining the skills to craft and perform as a storyteller and then honed these skills working with Shonaleigh and Ben Haggarty. She entered the world of professional storytelling. Additionally she trained with the school Narrative Therapy and Human Givens developing her narrative knowledge to underpin her work as a coach and facilitator.
She regularly performs in a storytelling circle she has set up in Milton Keynes and has toured 2 shows she created with Hannah McDowall. The first is a collection of autobiographical tales while the second is a piece researched from original source material about the life of Eleanor of Castile. She has performed at The International School of Storytelling, in story circles, for SOFAR events, at various venues in London and festivals, as well as at weddings and birthdays and last year at the top of Mount Olympus!
Storytelling is an ancient art form and has the ability to transform and inform. Stories help make sense of life and give value to yourself and others. Sue facilitates and hosts tailor made courses and workshops for small groups and individuals in order to reflect, learn, change and grow. She works with people in the corporate and public sector, her most recent clients being NATO and Essex County Council, with varied age groups in schools and in the local hospice.
The variety of the experience is what drives her passion for this work - Sue believes that everyone's story is important and that everyone has the capacity for life long growth and change.
Organisations I have worked with:
Story is a crucial, perhaps even the primary means by which we make sense of our lived experience. Story is the oldest and most human form of communication we have and I believe when used well is the most powerful. We are constantly telling and retelling stories, to others and to ourselves about what we know and what we imagine to be going on around us and within us. Stories are woven into the fabric of our lives: they shape our sense of self, our sense of belonging to community and our sense of how the world works. We use story to make meaning for ourselves, to help create our identity whether personal or organisational.
Critically for organisational life, and of enormous importance for organisational leaders, stories are laden with implicit value-judgements. The culture of an organisation is both reflected in and shaped by the stories that are told.
Your story is important, it matters and how you tell it can make all the difference. A story can be motivational, it can enable personal and organizational change. Stories can be truly inspirational and it's these human stories, individual and communal that draw people to them; they want to be part of the ongoing story - this is where their power lies.