Storytelling has always been a major part of my life. Last year, I was approached by David Webster, CEO of a local charity here in my hometown of Stoke-on-Trent, the Douglas Macmillan Hospice, to see if we could work together. I’m very proud to say that this week I became a storytelling Ambassador for them.
My first event was actually the week before this happened. As a guest of The Sentinel, I was asked to attend the charity ball for the ‘Dougie Mac’ as we fondly call it.
I had offered two of my books up for the silent auction, but unbeknown to me, I was introduced to around 500 people as a special guest and my role was announced. To say I was humbled was an understatement. The evening raised £67,ooo in total – boom!
When David invited me and my husband to have a look around the hospice earlier on this year, I was not only amazed at just what they do, and how many volunteers they have who work amongst their staff, but I was staggered to find that the hospice costs 12 million pounds to run each year.
If I remember rightly, David told me his funding each year was 2.6 million and the rest of the money had to be raised by the good people of Stoke.
That’s nearly 10 million pounds raised each year! You can see how much we value the hospice. I’m not sure anyone in the city hasn’t been involved with them or knows someone who has. They do an incredible job.
David and I have been thinking about events we could do together in the city – more to come on that later. But as I have a new book out, I decided to have a pre-publication ‘launch’ at the hospice.
Early copies of HUSH HUSH were for sale, all sales were donated to the hospice and all books were sold! It was overwhelming to say the least, but I am so chuffed to play a small part in raising funds for a charity that does SO much in my city.
Thank you to everyone who came to see me – the total raised was £596! A special thank you to my Q&A host, the amazing David Webster, CEO, and Suzi for organising the event!
My official launch for HUSH HUSH is next week, October 18, at Waterstones, Hanley from 6.30-9pm. Do come along for… a glass of wine 😉