Shared experiences inspires volunteer to support new hospice book

PUBLISHED: 12:01 17 March 2019

Author Philip Birtles and volunteer Marc Weston spoke about their shared experiences of the hospice. Picture: Garden House Hospice Care

Author Philip Birtles and volunteer Marc Weston spoke about their shared experiences of the hospice. Picture: Garden House Hospice Care

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A new book about Garden House Hospice Care went on sale on Tuesday, with a special signing from the author held at the charity’s store in Letchworth.

Philip Birtles has written a book, with all profits going to the Garden House Hospice Care. Picture: Garden House Hospice CarePhilip Birtles has written a book, with all profits going to the Garden House Hospice Care. Picture: Garden House Hospice Care

A new book about Garden House Hospice Care went on sale on Tuesday, with a special signing from the author held at the charity’s store in Letchworth.

Philip Birtles penned ‘The Past, Present and Future’ in memory of his late wife Martha.

The author wanted to commemorate the 25th year of the hospice by capturing its history to share with the community.

Upon finishing the book, he decided to add a further chapter on the future of the hospice by sharing strategic objectives and thoughts on the financial challenges it faces.

Philip – who hopes to raise awareness and income from the sales of his book – said: “I am delighted to have been able to write this history of the Garden House Hospice.

“My late wife was in the hospice for two weeks, she had been ill for over three months and being at the hospice was the only time she really felt comfortable.

“The book is not just a history of the hospice. When my wife Martha was there it was the 25th anniversary and I said to CEO Sue Plummer that I couldn’t give lots of funding, but I write books and I could write a history.

A volunteer at the Letchworth store Marc Weston said: “Buying a copy of Philip’s book is a great way to support the hospice through fundraising.

“I’m interested to find out more about the history of the hospice that cared for my wife, who sadly passed away in August last year.

After speaking with Philip about the book and their joint experiences of hospice care, Marc decided to purchase 10 books to be kept in the hospice’s inpatient rooms for current patients and their families to read in memory of his wife Debbie.

You can pick up a limited edition copy for just £7 from the Letchworth-based hospice or one of Garden House’s charity shops in Stevenage, Hitchin, Baldock and Royston.

To find your nearest store, go to ghhospicecare.org.uk/shops


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