New book showcases work of High Peak people with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses

Pictured, left to right, back row: Dawn Haines, Sarah Whiteley, Yvonne Reynolds, Julian Cohen. Front row: Sue Walmsley and Sam Osborne.
Pictured, left to right, back row: Dawn Haines, Sarah Whiteley, Yvonne Reynolds, Julian Cohen. Front row: Sue Walmsley and Sam Osborne.

A new book is showcasing short stories and poems written by High Peak people with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses.

‘Life is a Mish Mash’ has been put together by members of a writing group at Blythe House Hospicecare, run by poet and story-teller Julian Cohen.

The first writers group was founded in 2015 as part of the Chapel-en-le-Frith hospice’s Living Well Service, offering sessions over several weeks.

The latest group, made up of Dawn Haines, Sam Osborne, Sarah Whiteley, Sue Walmsley and Yvonne Reynolds, started in September. Working together over 18 weeks, they created a book of their work to raise funds for the hospice.

Julian said: “Writing gives people the opportunity to help express their feelings and experiences, especially when going through difficult times.

“Most people think that they can’t write; but with the right sort of help and support they can create the most amazing and interesting work.

“People also share and read out their work to each other.”

As well as contributing to the writing within the book, Sam also designed the document ready for printing.

She said: “This group has been such an amazing support for me by having the opportunity to write down my thoughts and then share them with other members.”

Sarah said: “This group faces demons; instead of existing with terminal cancer, it has given me the ability to live positively, it’s given me a new lease of life.”

Sue observed: “Cancer for me has been a very lonely experience, but this group has given me friends and people to talk to; it has been a revelation to me.”

Yvonne said: “This experience has been very therapeutic for me, it has been a great outlet for people who cannot speak out loud.”

Dawn added: “We have been able to get to know each other so much more intimately than we would have otherwise.”

The book is available to buy from the reception at Blythe House, or from one of the hospice’s shops in Chapel-en-le-Frith, Buxton, New Mills and Whaley Bridge. With a minimum donation suggestion of £2, all the money raised will go directly to benefitting local people who have cancer or other life-limiting illness, as well as their families and carers.