By Len A.Hynds

Living on Romney Marsh in an isolated position was to me the perfect home to return to each evening from work, but I had to be realistic that we were both getting on in years, and transport to town could become difficult. We decided upon Ashford, and searched for a suitable bungalow without success, but came across new bungalows being built by ‘The Southern Housing Group’. So we decided to rent and were successful in being allocated one. The standard set by this group was excellent, and it was a joy to move into our brand new bungalow.

However, within two months, I went down with cancer of the throat, and two months later I was struck with silence, as my vocal cords were cut away. I joined a focus group of Southern Housing, although being speechless I felt that I was not much use. A development Officer of the group Jenny McDonald sat in on one of those meetings, and I was in the process of learning to talk again with my artificial voice, when she advised me to go firstly to Homewood College and latterly to Kent University. It was Jenny who obtained a grant from the Ashley Bramall Memorial Fund for me to go on to university, and I was astonished when several years later after I had graduated in Creative Writing, Poetry and Writing For Stage and Screen, that I was called to London to be presented by the chairman of the group, the first prize in ‘Achievement in Education’. Without Jenny’s encouragement or the help from the Ashley Bramall Fund, I doubt if I would have achieved all that.

Len being presented an award