A solicitor and poet from Walsall has been asked to speak on behalf of Acorns Children`s Hospice about his work with Saint Teresa of Kolkata ahead of a new three-part Sky documentary series Mother Teresa: For the Love of God which talks to some of her friends and bitterest critics, serving as a thorough reappraisal of one of the most famous women of the last century.
“It was 40 years ago” explained Walsall Poet Laureate and solicitor Ian Henery “and Robert Deeley and I had earned our Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards following a youth exchange between Walsall and Mumbai.
We had witnessed poverty unlike anything we had ever seen growing up in Walsall and wanted to do something to help. So we wrote to Mother Teresa in Kolkata and she invited us over to go and volunteer in her homes.”
The result was A Ripple of Love – Mother Teresa, published by Mowbray Press, which was an evocative collection of Robert`s photographs and Ian`s account of their work with Mother Teresa in India. The forward was by the Director of the Duke of Edinburgh`s Award Scheme and International Link of the International Co-Workers of Mother Teresa.
“Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize after dedicating her life to helping others” explained Ian.
In 2016 it was announced that the Roman Catholic nun was being made a saint.
Her charitable efforts have been widely celebrated and recognised all over the planet. When she received the Nobel Peace Prize she said was “happy to receive it in the name of the hungry, the naked and the homeless”.
Mother Teresa asked for a big dinner organised to mark her winning the award to be cancelled and for all of the money to be given to the poor people of Kolkata instead.
“She lived a very simple life” explained Ian. “Her only possessions were a bucket and two saris”. When she died in 1997 aged 87 Mother Teresa was given a state funeral in India.
“While she had some controversial opinions which some people disagreed with” explained Ian “Mother Teresa is remembered as an incredibly selfless person who wanted to help those less fortunate than herself.”
At Acorns Children`s Hospice dedicated teams provide specialist palliative care for life limited and life threatened babies, children children and young people and support for their families.
This support is offered from their hospice in Walsall as well as in the family home and in the community.
Ian will be doing a presentation at the Acorns Business Club at Chung Ying Restaurant in Birmingham at 1pm on Tuesday 21st June.
For more information: www.acorns.org.uk