Do angels exist? One in three of us claim to have a guardian angel. But not every saviour is an angel or person. At this year’s Spring Festival, we will be hearing stories from those whose lives have been changed for the better through their discovery of a companion, activity or a communicative tool.

Television broadcaster and author of Angels, Peter Stanford, takes a closer look into the history of angels, their roles and presence in many people’s lives to understand why so many of us believe in them.

Kate Spicer will be sharing her story of life with and without Wolfy, a laidback lurcher who in her words rescued her from herself at a time when her life was going off the rails. But, when Wolfy disappears, Kate’s life is thrown into disarray and her sanity tested to its limit, prompting her to think about life, the enduring relationship between humans and canines, and write a book about it with Lost Dog.

Crippled with anxiety and depression, Bella Mackie had no strength to get off the sofa let alone face putting her life back together, until she pulled on a pair of trainers and ran. A short distance at first, but the next day, she got up and did it again. She began setting herself achievable goals and, most importantly, felt her mood lifting. Jog Onis a humorous, honest, account of Bella’s discovery of running and getting her life back on track.

Born with severe cerebral palsy, Jonathan Bryan was locked into a world of silence, branded unteachable and unable to communicate, until a mother’s love and determination saw Jonathan’s life change. Teaching him to speak through a board selecting letters and phrases with his eyes, Jonathan’s mother freed him from the shackles of silence. He found a newfound freedom which he embraced progressing from silence to short stories in just over a year.

Today, at the age of 12, Jonathan has written a book about his experience and become a real life changemaker campaigning for other “locked in” sufferers to be taught to read and write. Eye can Write is a journey of a life mastering the art of communicating with the world and the joys of unlocking the silence.

What of those who choose to challenge perspectives and societal norms? Josh Cohen, author, psychoanalyst and Professor of Modern Literary Theory at Goldsmiths University of London asks, “why do we demonise idleness?” We are subject to a constant flow of information, work and connectivity, but what happens when we stop? Not Working, Why We Have To Stop, explores the four faces of inertia, and resultant achievements, and offers timely advice on the importance of doing nothing at all.

To find out more about these authors and the Festival, visit our website



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