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“If iCan, you can”… Inspirational visitor to Patrick House


BEST-SELLING author and motivational speaker Richard McCann has visited the residents of Compassion in Action’s Patrick House to talk to them about his ‘iCan’ approach to surviving childhood trauma.


At the age of five McCann woke up on a cold morning in October 1975 to discover his mother, Wilma, missing. Later that day, the 28-year-old mother-of-four would be found dead just yards from the family home in the Chapeltown district of Leeds. She had been struck with a hammer and stabbed – the first victim of notorious serial killer Peter Sutcliffe, the ‘Yorkshire Ripper’.


“There’s always a reason behind disruptive children, isn’t there?” the father-of-three asked the residents of the Leigh Road premises.


“Can you tell just by looking at me that my mum was killed by the Yorkshire Ripper? I can’t tell what you’ve been through just by looking at you either. We all have the ability to find that ray of sunshine in dark times,” he added.


The inspirational talk on Friday evening was organised by charity Chief Executive Pam Gilligan who was present along with Trustee Linda Kellie and members of the public.


“Our clients experience crisis for many reasons: family breakdown, substance misuse, alcohol and gambling addiction, domestic violence and poverty,” says Pam.


“Richard’s life story, which covered everything from losing his mum; to physical abuse, drug addiction and imprisonment is something many of them can relate to.


‘It was truly inspiring and uplifting to see how – from such personal tragedy – he has become the confident public speaker, family man and husband he is today. It’s a positive message that I know will have had a big impact on our lads.”


Richard’s career in motivational speaking has seen him address more than 250,000 people. He has written three books, including the best-selling ‘Just a Boy: The True Story of a Stolen Childhood’ – which is set to become a film.


His visit to Patrick House is one of a series of public events on the charity’s calendar, which includes a singalong with award-winning female vocalists The Land Girls on Monday 6 July (1pm to 3.30pm). Tickets are free, but must be booked in advance. Please telephone 01942 418830 or call in at Patrick House, 58 Leigh Road, Leigh, WN7 1QR.