20th Nov, 2017

Hanley Swan poet donates £300 from book sales to St Richard's Hospice

Craig Gibbons 14th Nov, 2017

A HANLEY Swan poet has donated hundreds of pounds from the sale of her book to support St Richard’s Hospice.

Dr Averil Stedeford gave £300 to the hospice, which provides free specialist palliative and end of life care for patients living with life-limiting illnesses and supports their loved ones, after selling copies of her poetry book The Long Way Down.

The 85-year-old’s work reflects on the time spent with her husband after he was found to have inoperable cancer, and of her journey through bereavement.

Her poems also draw on her experiences working at the Sir Michael Sobell House hospice in Oxford as a therapist and teacher of palliative care.

“I wrote most of the poems at the same time as they happened which is why they have an immediacy about them,” said Dr Stedeford.

“People use words like ‘it is very comforting’, they read it over and over and say it’s lovely even though it’s so sad.

“I think it describes what they have been through and they think: ‘Gosh, somebody else has been through this before me’. It gives them hope.”

Dr Stedeford, who lives in a care home, will donate all the profits from sales of her book to hospice, cancer and bereavement charities.

St Richard’s is the first charity she has donated proceeds to, following publication of her book earlier this year.

Alice Brunt, fund-raiser at St Richard’s, said: “We are grateful for Averil’s generous donation – her support is very much appreciated.

“Her donation will go towards funding our specialist care to patients living with life-limiting illnesses, their loved ones and bereaved people across Worcestershire.”

A Long Way Down is available to buy from Aspect Design, in Newtown Road, and The Lyttleton Well bookshop, in Church Street.

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