By Maria Duffy. First published on Friday 10th September 2010. 8 Comments so far.

The Big Book of Hope Launch

Hope helps us to control our fears. In times of sickness, poverty or mourning, she’ll give us courage and a sense of direction. Although we may sometimes feel we’ve lost her, she’ll always be there, quietly waiting to take our hand and guide us.

Hope gets us through the dark nights with the promise of the rising sun. She fans her feathers like a peacock and fills us with excitement of what lies ahead. We may sometimes feel we’re risking pain by letting her in but the greatest pain of all is to be without her.

Hope is the music that banishes grief. We should cherish her and always allow our hearts to be filled with her song.

When I first heard of The Big Book Of Hope I was excited. I was thrilled that two of my friends, Hazel Larkin and Vanessa O’Loughlin, were bringing together such a fantastic group of people to share their immense talent in a book. This amazing book of short stories has something for everybody. The contributors range from best-selling authors and celebrities to business people and political figures. The stories are a mix of fiction, non-fiction and memoir and all have a common theme of hope.

Although I knew all the proceeds would be going to a good cause, I didn’t really think much beyond that. Last night I was at the launch and stood listening to Maureen Forrest, founder director of The Hope Foundation. I really struggled to keep my emotions under control. Did you know that 250,000 children live on the streets of Calcutta? They are born into extreme poverty and many are abandoned and abused. They eat, sleep, wash and go to the toilet in the streets and in the slums of the city. The Hope Foundation, founded in 1999, funds many different projects that have the single aim of changing the lives of these children and their families. Their goal is to provide supports and skills that will enable them to build a better future for themselves, free of poverty.

The launch was a great success. There were many whispers of “ooh look who’s over there” and “doesn’t he/she look different in real life” as well as the clink of glasses and requests to “fill it up again please” (but that last one had nothing to do with me!) All the books were sold on the night which hopefully is a sign of things to come.

This book will save lives. Available now in bookshops, Tesco and online at

Maria x

8 comments so far

Leave a Reply