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Derek's Reader Story, Cornwall

Derek first attended the Outlook South West reading group in Bodmin, Cornwall, and now comes every week to the library.

Derek is retired and has lived in Bodmin for a number of years.

How would you describe yourself and your needs before joining the group?

I have OCD – it’s a fight for me and I was a little depressed.

What made you come to the group?

I saw a notice at Outlook South West and thought it looked inviting. I’m not well read and I wanted to find something to help me over a bad period – I also have skin cancer.

What was the group like for you?

It was an awakening – so many interesting people and it was so varied – we can learn from each other. The pleasure of having someone not as a teacher but who was clever at bringing you into a story – it’s a new awakening.

What makes you keep coming?

I’m really happy to quietly enjoy – you can get involved or you can sit and quietly enjoy yourself. I’m sorry it’s come so late in my life.

Because it’s important, I feel, there’s so much enjoyment there – you learn so much from other people. I never knew poetry could be so enjoyable – I hope it continues, it’s so good – It’s a friendship.

How would you describe its effect on you?

It’s helped a lot – my wife has seen the difference ( you should really ask her ) and I’ve got her involved with it at home.

Oh yes, it really has helped. He gets so depressed about his OCD and can’t cope if things don’t go right. When he’s been to your group he’s a different person, so cheerful and full of it all, talking about the stories and poems. He looks forward to it so much – meeting different people has been so good for him. I’m so pleased he’s going – he won’t let anything get in the way of it. (Derek's wife)

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