A former prisoner now ordained prison minister has released a book about his life to raise money for Southmead Hospital Charity to thank the NHS who saved his daughter’s life.
Reverend Larry Harvey, a leading figure in the traveller community, was born into an English Romany Gypsy family but fell into a life of crime from an early age.
He is now full time chaplain at HMP Bristol – where he was once a prisoner – and works closely with offenders to help them build a life without crime.
His remarkable life story has been captured in a new book called from ‘Menace to Miracle’ and all proceeds of the sale of the book will be donated to Southmead Hospital Charity to support the neurological department at Southmead Hospital, Bristol.
Larry, who lives in Coalpit Heath, had 27 crime convictions ranging from thefts to assault.
But in 1999 Larry turned his life around after his 18-year-old daughter Joanne fell seriously ill needing several ground breaking major neurological operations at the former Frenchay Hospital to relieve pressure on her brain.
Larry became a committed Christian and started to work in Ashfield Young Offenders Institution.
Menace to Miracle has been written with Hilary Field, a former BBC Radio 4 producer and volunteer chaplaincy assistant at Southmead Hospital.
The book is available on Amazon as a hard copy or as a download on Kindle and an audio version is planned.
Larry said: “For a long time I have wanted to encourage youngsters and others to know that no matter how awful their lives seem now, they can change it from a life of drugs, violence and crime to a life with a purpose and hope, just as mine was changed.
“So when we wrote the book, I decided I wanted the money from it to go to Southmead Hospital, where my daughter’s life was saved and where my life was so dramatically changed.”
Hilary said: “I met Larry whilst we were both working in Ashfield Young Offenders Institution.
“As I got to know him, I realised his life story was so extraordinary, it had to be shared. The stories he was telling me were just too amazing not to be written down.
“So we wrote the book together to give people hope who perhaps have none, and to give everyone a sense of what can happen when you turn your life around.”
Elizabeth Bond, head of fundraising for Southmead Hospital Charity, said: “We are extremely grateful for the pledge of proceeds of Reverend Harvey’s book sales towards the charity’s neurological fund.
“Our community of fundraisers are varied and have their own unique ways of raising funds but what brings them together is their desire to give back by saying thank you to the NHS, helping us to make a real impact on healthcare for the next generation.”
Menace to Miracle is available on Amazon at £8.99, plus postage and on Kindle £4.50
Pictured is Larry Harvey outside HMP Bristol.
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