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Withersfield artist aims to bring the countryside to people's homes and raise money for charity with book publication




An artist from Withersfield has embarked on a mission to raise enough money to publish a book and gift copies of it to care homes and hospices, while also raising money for three charities.

Sue Varian has has begun fundraising for £10,000 in order that 1,000 hardback copies of her book, ‘A New Dawn’ – a 50 page pictorial book with over 100 photos, can be published, marketed and distributed.

The fund-raising page can be found here.

Sue Varian with the artwork that will appear on the front cover of her book, A New Dawn. Contributed photo
Sue Varian with the artwork that will appear on the front cover of her book, A New Dawn. Contributed photo

When published, Mrs Varian's aim is to ‘gift’ free copies to the care homes and hospices in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire and also to raise money from additional book sales which will be shared between The Newmarket Day Centre, Addenbrookes Charity Trust (ACT) and My Wish Charity at the West Suffolk Hospital.

She explained: "During lockdown and throughout the summer I had been taking photos of the countryside, vistas and flora on my daily walks around Withersfield (which is just outside Haverhill) and always thinking how fortunate I was to be able to enjoy the countryside while so many, especially the elderly, have been confined indoors, unable to go out on visits.

"Their plight really affected me and at the beginning of October I decided that by producing a pictorial book of my photos they could enjoy what I have been able to enjoy.

Clare Balding has written a foreword for A New Dawn
Clare Balding has written a foreword for A New Dawn

"It’s a book not just to be enjoyed by the elderly but also by those whose mental health has been so affected by this pandemic.

"It’s about bringing the ‘outside in’ and ‘brightening their day’."

The book follows the seasons in and around Withersfield and other areas of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire with countryside views as well as photos of wildflowers and garden flora.

Health Secretary and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock. Picture by Mark Westley
Health Secretary and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock. Picture by Mark Westley

TV presenter and journalist Clare Balding has endorsed the book and has written an enthusiastic foreword, which says: "This is a book that brings hope and that encapsulates all that is precious in the outside world."

It has also received the support of West Suffolk MP and Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who has posted it on his Facebook page.

If successful in her quest, Mrs Varian intends to give 500 copies of the book to Suffolk and Cambridgeshire care homes, and through selling 500 copies at £15 a copy, £2,500 could be raised for each of the three charities.

She added: "I hope it will provide enjoyment those who have been denied the countryside this year and just getting out and about."

Read more: All the latest news from Suffolk

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