Jim Bostock, a patient who currently accesses the services of Woodlands Hospice’s Well Being and Support Centre, recently published a book of his own poetry after opening up about his writing in the Hospice’s Supportive Living Patient Group.
The Supportive Living Group allows patients to come together and share experiences and feelings on a regular basis and can lead to strong friendships and bonds forming between patients.
Jim, who has been a member of the group since August 2018, opened up one week about a previous battle he had recovering from alcoholism in 2003 that led to him joining a writing group and writing poetry. He said this played a huge part of his recovery at the time and he finds that writing gives him something to focus on through difficult situations.
Following this, Jim was encouraged to share one of his poems with the group, which led to it becoming a weekly theme! Jim’s fellow patients and the Hospice Team enjoyed Jim’s poetry so much that they encouraged Jim to publish them in a book for more people to enjoy. So with the help of two friends from his poetry group, Pauline Rowe and Anna-Maria Parry, Jim did just that!
‘Yarraagh’ features 20 of Jim’s wonderful and entertaining poems. Rather than trying to sell his book, Jim is kindly requesting anyone who wishes to have a copy to give a donation to Woodlands Hospice instead, to allow us to continue providing support and specialist care to our patients and their families.
Jim said, “When you have cancer, everything becomes about cancer. This book isn’t about that – it’s more of a tribute to my recovery from alcoholism when writing became a part of my life. However, being at Woodlands Hospice and sharing the poems with the patients group enhanced the value that writing had on my recovery and makes me appreciate the support I have at the Hospice now as I’m dealing with my illness much more.”
Jim also recognised that it was the encouragement from the group that led to him finally documenting his poems, “I think sharing my experiences and talking with the patients in the Supportive Living Group made me realise, it’s now or never really. It does make me quite proud seeing my poems in print and I’m still so proud that I have been a recovered alcoholic since 2003. If I can also help Woodlands to raise money, then that would be fantastic.”
Dawn Porter, who runs the Supportive Living Group at the Hospice, said, “We’ve all really enjoyed Jim sharing his poems with us every week. My particular favourite is the one about ‘Bomby Night!’ so to be able to take a copy ourselves will be brilliant. We’re really proud of what Jim has achieved and think it is so kind of him to use his poetry to help support Woodlands.”
Jim has donated a stock of his books to the Hospice, which will be available from the Hospice reception for other patients and visitors to take for a donation of their choice. He hopes they will also be available in local libraries across the country which will be a fantastic achievement.