In this series Dr Sian Williams talks to people who have lived through extraordinary events that have set their lives on an entirely different course.
This podcast is all about the human experience, how people deal with obstacles that turn their lives upside down. The journeys are not always straightforward and there are often some remarkable discoveries along the way.
Would you like to appear on the podcast? Do you have an extraordinary story to tell? We'd love to hear from you: email@example.com
Hurting the one you love
Growing up in Newport with his mum and younger brother, Connor Allen struggled with his identity as a mixed race kid. He bottled up his feelings and as the anger and frustration built up, couldn’t find the words to express his emotions. When his rage erupts into violence against his Mum, she ends up doing the unthinkable and calling the police. Connor is left facing a prison sentence, his future at a crossroads.
This episode was recorded in front of a live audience at the Hay Festival in May 2023.
Bluebells on Bunny Hill
When Alan and Irene met in 1959, their connection was instant. The two isolated children aged just seven and nine found warmth and kindness in each other in a children’s home that was unwelcoming and strict. They would steal moments together up on Bunny Hill and talk about their lives. But the home had a rule that boys and girls could not mix. So when their friendship was discovered, a year after they first met, Alan and Irene were separated. It would take four decades for them to find each other again.
I knew I could never make it right
In August of 2006, Teresa Clark was driving five of her friends back home after a day at a music festival. Several hours into the journey she fell asleep at the wheel of their people carrier and crashed. Three passengers were killed, two others were injured as well as Teresa herself.
She was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving and spent time in prison. The guilt and shame of carrying that loss of life almost destroyed her. But in the 17 years since it happened Teresa has rebuilt; she now works in the mental health and wellbeing sector trying to keep the vow she made to live her life for her friends, and do some good in their memory.
Details of support with mental health issues and bereavement are available at bbc.co.uk/actionline.
Police officer Clodagh Dunlop is used to dealing with emergency situations — until it’s her own.
It’s Easter Monday 2015: Clodagh Dunlop is an ambitious police officer in Northern Ireland. A fit 35-year-old, she’s in training to run a 6-minute mile. But her day off takes a terrifying turn, and Clodagh finds herself trapped in her own body … hearing the conversations around her but unable to communicate. Then she finds the strength to make a remarkable breakthrough.
Rachel Watkyn’s upbringing was a contradiction: aristocratic but impoverished. She was forced to memorise her father’s extensive family tree and was expected to behave as the 'perfect young baroness'. Despite their status the family didn't have clean clothes or heating and she was called ‘fleabag’ by other children at school. This left Rachel isolated, never knowing where she fitted in, and feeling not good enough.
Years later, when Rachel was in her 50s, her father became unwell and made a startling revelation on his deathbed.
When Will Darby left school in 2007 his peers all headed to university but Will wanted something different so he went travelling in search of remote, unknown, and unridden waves to surf. Will built himself an idyllic life in the Solomon Islands but after just a few weeks everything came crashing down in an event that would create a lifelong bond with the island and its inhabitants.
A true reflection of inner strength
I feel that the latest series with Dr Sian Williams is even more moving than before. I didn’t think that was possible. The inner strength and determination of people reliving their life changing moments is simply astonishing.
Every episode is touching
This is one of those podcasts you can’t binge, but have to listen to each episode spaced out so you can have room to feel all the feelings each episode gives you. Every episode is at turns sweet and heartbreaking and wonderful. Love this podcast.
Worth your time
Feel good. Inspiring. Insightful.