Downton Poet is published
Downton is home to a published poet: Amanda Ross-Etheridge. From 30 April, her book has been available for purchase from several places - including Austin Macauley, Amazon, WHSmith and Waterstones.
The inspiration for the book has been her mother, with whom she has always been extremely close, but who was sadly diagnosed with Alzheimer's several years ago. Amanda explains: "...because of the Alzheimer's I feel sometimes (even though I am extremely lucky to still have both of my parents) that I have lost my mum already. I then feel very guilty for having these thoughts as I am lucky to still have her even though she is not the same person that we have always known. She has been unable to do anything for herself or speak for a long time now and this is very upsetting for myself and my family. I needed to find a way to channel my emotions and I wanted to raise as much money as possible for Alzheimer's research in the hope that one day there will be a cure and other people will not have to go through what our family and so many other families have had to face." Amanda will be donating £1 from every book sale to the Alzheimer's Society
Amanda has lived in Downton for five and a half years with her "better half" and two cats. She has worked for the NHS for over 18 years as a hospital porter in Dorset. Her parents live close by in Hampshire.
She has always wanted to try to do her bit to help others and is hoping that this will be the first volume of several poetry books, which she works on between her portering shifts. The second is now underway.
Amanda again: "I have never done anything like this before and I am learning on my feet. I have not even had an Instagram or Twitter account until recently and I am still trying to learn how to use these as I am a little bit of a technophobe. I am also quite a shy person - although all my friends might not agree. Not only do I want to raise as much as I can for charity, but I also hope that the book and poems may make a few peoples' day and put a smile on as many faces as possible. If I spread a little joy and fun and I manage to raise some money for charity, then my job is done. I believe that it would make my mum extremely proud."