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Chichester residents and visitors to the city may already be aware of Rosie Turner, also known as Granny Rosie.
The 90-year-old grandmother has knitted many items for us to display in the window of our charity shop on North Street, Chichester over the years. She even appeared on ITV’s This Morning via video during the first lockdown in April 2020 after performing ‘We’ll Meet Again’ for neighbours.
Every day, more and more people – some 8.8 million in the UK – find themselves caring for parents and loved ones. And in her new book, Sussex-based bestselling author, Kate Mosse tells the story of this “invisible army of carers holding families together” through her personal experience of finding herself a carer in middle age.
Published on 3 June 2021, ahead of Carers Week (7-13 June), ‘An Extra Pair of Hands’ is a story about the gentle heroism of our carers. It’s Kate’s story: first, helping her heroic mother care for her beloved father through Parkinson’s, then supporting her mother in widowhood, and finally as ‘an extra pair of hands’ for her 90-year-old mother-in-law, Rosie Turner.
And it’s fitting that a book all about caring for those we love includes mentions for Chestnut Tree House, as our focus is on providing vital care and support for local children and families.
‘An Extra Pair of Hands’ is a story about small everyday acts of tenderness and finding joy in times of crisis. Kate Mosse writes about Granny Rosie knitting for Chestnut Tree House in the latter part of the book. Supporting their local children’s hospice is something the pair have done together for several years, and they both attended the Best of Sussex Community Awards in December 2019 when Granny Rosie won a Local Hero Award after being nominated by the charity.
Granny Rosie’s creative knitted window displays for our Chichester charity shop have included the Queen and her corgis, carol singers and snowmen, and most recently, maypole dancers.
“Granny Rosie’s wonderful, knitted characters attract lots of interest from customers and passers-by, and often inspire people to make a donation,” explains Talitha Brewer, the manager at Chestnut Tree House’s Chichester shop (pictured with Kate Mosse and Granny Rosie).
“As a charity, we rely heavily on the generosity of the local community and we’re so grateful to Rosie and Kate for their ongoing support. We always look forward to seeing what Rosie will create next!”
Described by fellow novelist, Matt Haig, as “a beautiful, emotional and timely read”, ‘An Extra Pair of Hands’ celebrates people like Granny Rosie. It’s about learning to live differently and think differently about ageing. It’s about juggling priorities, mind-numbing repetition, powerlessness, grief, and the solace of nature. But most of all, it’s a story about love.