Daughter publishes book in memory of her mum - Stevenage’s inspirational Sherma Batson

Ahisha with husband Josh and son Malakai. Picture Ahisha Ferguson.

Ahisha with husband Josh and son Malakai. Picture Ahisha Ferguson.


The daughter of one of Stevenage’s most remarkable women is about to publish a book inspired by her memory.

Ahisha trying out a healthy juice. Picture Ahisha ferguson.Ahisha trying out a healthy juice. Picture Ahisha ferguson.

Sherma Batson was a long-serving Stevenage Borough and Herts county councillor, and served as the first female black mayor of Stevenage.

She also founded Stevenage Furniture Recycing Scheme and Stevenage World Forum, both of which are still operating.

Now, inspired by her mother’s life of devotion to the Stevenage community and the shock of her sudden death last January from a brain haemorrhage at the age of just 59, her daughter Ahisha Ferguson is set to publish a book about healthy eating and lifestyle.

Ahisha and her husband Josh – whose battle with sickle cell requires a healthy lifestyle – run a holistic lifestyles business to advise people and are also in the process of starting a juicing business.

Ahisha with her husband Josh.Ahisha with her husband Josh.

Her mother’s death hit Ahisha hard, and she and her husband decided to move from London to Stevenage with their five-year-old son, Malakai.

Ahisha admits her mother had struggled with her weight and lifestyle – when she was mayor of Stevenage she famously ran a weight loss campaign called ‘see less of the mayor’ – but her death while attending a soul dancing event in Blackpool came as a huge shock.

Ahisha told the Comet: “I always wanted to write a book, and when mum passed away I wasn’t able to focus or see my clients. I was basically in bed for three or four months

“Brain aneurisms can happen if you don’t lead a healthy lifestyle or don’t exercise, so I started thinking about it. My mum was getting more healthy, but she hadn’t always looked after herself when she was younger.”

Josh sick in hospital. Picture: Ahisha FergusonJosh sick in hospital. Picture: Ahisha Ferguson

The book, called ‘Diet Stops Monday’, is based on the idea that short term dieting and weightless schemes don’t actually last.

Instead it suggests that people need to be committed to a long term weight loss scheme and can actually diet by eating more food – just more of the right food. It also suggests that you don’t need to work out religiously in order to lose weight.

The book is packed with healthy living recipes and tips for an all-round healthy lifestyle.

Ahisha said: “People often pay lots of money to lose weight – the average woman spends £25,000 in their lives trying to lose weight – but most of these schemes don’t work.

Josh working out at the Gym. Picture Ahisha FergusonJosh working out at the Gym. Picture Ahisha Ferguson

“You also need to allow yourself a cheat day. I love pizza and my cheat meal is pizza, a glass of wine and chocolate cake for dessert.”

In this year of celebrating the centenary of the women’s suffrage movement getting the vote, Ahisha says her mother was an inspiration to many around her and always championed women’s rights, believing steadfastly that women can achieve anything if they work together.

She hasn’t ruled out going into politics in her mother’s footsteps, but says, if she does, she won’t repeat her mum’s propensity for working too hard and will try to keep her life in balance.

‘Diet Stops Monday’ is released on March 3 and will soon be available on Amazon.

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