A NEW book featuring poems written by users of Warrington’s mental health services has been released.

Bird on a Wire features more than 30 poems written by users of 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust services and was launched during with an event at Hollins Park Hospital on Wednesday August 31.

The publication of the work comes as the culmination of a year-and-a-half’s worth of work by the trust.

Patsy Kelly, trust volunteer and Bird on a Wire project lead, said: “It has taken 18 months of careful planning, curating, editing and endless meeting with the project group to get to where we are today and it’s great to finally be able to hold a copy of the book in my hands.

“We all feel really proud of what we’ve achieved.

Two of the books contributors were remembered during the launch of the book.

Dermot Allister, a social worker with the trust, died in April while service user Sam Leiper passed away days after submitting his two poems last year.

Patsy added: “Sadly two of our poets couldn’t be with us today – Dermot was the driving force behind the whole project and it was actually his poem Hospital Cat that kick-started Bird on a Wire.

“Sam was also a really talented poet and his family generously donated the funding we needed to be able to make Bird on a Wire happen, which we are so grateful for.”

The launch coincided with the first ever live broadcast for the hospital’s Hollins Hub radio service while attendees included the Mayor of Warrington Cllr Faisal Rashid and Simon Barber, the chief executive of 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Simon said: “Poetry and other creative arts are very therapeutic and can play an important role for many people in their recovery from mental ill-health.

“It’s great to see the talents of our service users, staff and volunteers celebrated in the Bird on a Wire poetry book – everyone who has been involved with the project should feel proud of themselves.”