Book organised by Duchess is ‘godsend’ to family hit hard by pandemic

The book was found at the Brookwood American Cemetery

AN INSPIRATIONAL book organised by the Duchess of Cambridge has brought comfort to a local family who have suffered trauma during the pandemic.

Hold Still is a collection of portraits submitted by people around the county taken during May and June last year and around the themes of “helpers and heroes”, “your new normal” and “acts of kindness.”

Available to buy with half the proceeds going to the mental health charity Mind, 150 copies have been hidden at various spots around the country.

The copies were hidden by the Duchess, people who took part in the book and members of The Book Fairies, a literary movement which urges readers to share books which they have read and enjoyed by leaving them in public spaces for others to find.

One was placed at the Brookwood American Cemetery and found by Woking resident Katie Terry and her father.

“It was a lovely surprise to see the book and then to open the ribbon to find the note from HRH The Duchess of Cambridge,” Katie said.

“It had further significance to us, as my family has been through a lot of trauma recently.

The message from HRH The Duchess of Cambridge

“My dear mum has been in hospital since 18 December with an infection and Covid, but she, incredibly, fought against it, enduring a three-week induced coma and she is now, thankfully, making good progress and rehabilitating in order to be able to come home soon.

“My dad was able to have his first official visit with her on Thursday, which was wonderful. It has been a long and difficult journey, but Mum is on the road to recovery, and we have felt very supported through the care and prayers of friends.

“For both my Dad and I, it really did feel like a beautiful big hug and a God-send finding this wonderful book.”

Katie said her father has shown the book to her mother in hospital.

“She thought it was lovely and agreed with me that it was almost like it was meant to be.

“I am looking forward to sharing the book with the rest of the family over the forthcoming days, and to then leaving it in a poignant place for it to be found and enjoyed by someone else, and they too can be blessed by the real and heartwarming images and to know that there is still hope, even in the midst of such a difficult year.”

* The book is available from https://npgshop.org.uk/products/hold-still-hardcover.

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