Settle poet John Raubenheimer is waxing lyrical to help charity SANE

Craven Herald: Poet John Raubenheimer Poet John Raubenheimer

A Settle man is on a mission to raise money for a mental health charity.

South African-born poet John Raubenheimer is offering to read his work to groups within a two-hour train-travel distance of Settle, as a means of raising money for SANE.

John, 65, took up poetry at a young age. In 1981, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and found writing helped him through it.

This year, he decided to use his poetry to give something back by setting a target to raise £10,000 for SANE.

“Going through mental illness can be a very lonely experience. When I heard about the SANE helpline I thought if there had been something like that back then, I might have been able to get some support through that time in my life,” explained John.

SANE provides a helpline which is open 6pm to 11pm every day of the year. The charity also provides an online forum which offers people the opportunity to connect with others with similar experiences.

John still reads some of the poems he wrote during the worst of his schizophrenia and describes them as milestones.

“The nice thing for me is sharing my experiences. I want to share them through the poetry I have written. It’s one of the things that helped pull me away from illness,” he said.

“It gives me a chance to read my poems, which is something I like to do anyway. A lot of these poems were really written to be spoken more than just read.”

John would welcome invitations to read his poetry to any groups interested in return for donations to the charity. “I want to give something back and I hope that together we’ll be able to create a new atmosphere where mental illness doesn’t carry the stigma,” he said.

For more information about John or to donate to his case, visit justgiving.com/John-Raubenheimer or email on settlejohn60@ gmail.com

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