Suzanne Collier


The Book Trade Charity
The Book Trade Charity (BTBS), established 1837, is the trades own welfare charity, offering help to anyone who has worked in the trade for more than one year (employed, self-employed or freelance) in a range of roles across publishing, distribution and bookselling and who has a problem, whether personal, financial or health related. The Charity offers direct financial assistance to individuals in need through its Grants programme, giving one hundred thousand pounds in 2012 and subsidised housing for some three dozen at Kings Langley in Hertfordshire. BTBS helps around 200 people a year, in circumstances which include disability, long-term illness, redundancy, debt including rent arrears, poverty, carer situations.


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Suzanne Collier for The Book Trade Charity

Suzanne Collier

My page:

"Life deals you a hand of cards, this isn't the hand I wanted but I will be damn sure that I play the hell out of it" 

This is the cycle ride of my life - an impossible dream that after April 2006 I never thought would happen.

On 19th April 2006 I was on my way to work when I was involved in a minor car crash with major consequences in that I didn't know I had concussion. 
My car got towed away, a colleague came and picked me up took me to the office.  When I arrived my line manager said 'I'm really sorry you've been in an accident, can you make sure your reports are done before you go on holiday?'.  So I stayed in the office and completed a whole day's work. 

Two weeks after this I signed off sick. My speech was slurring, I couldn't process thoughts or articulate properly, I had difficulty in standing up and I was suffering with dizziness all day, every day.  I was initially diagnosed as having Post Concussion Trauma. 
Ten days later my condition deteriorated and I was treated in hospital for a suspected stroke and the very next day my employers stopped my salary mid-month and put me on SSP of £72 a week.

I had a short-term insurance policy but it was not enough to cover my outgoings, which increase when you are at home all day and in need of care, so my savings quickly depleted.  

In January 2007 I returned to work, not because I had recovered, but because financially I could not afford to remain off sick, even though the insurance policy had months left to run.

In 2008 I was told by a doctor that I needed to give up work and this was followed by me ending up in hospital and fighting for my life.  I spent 10 days in Whipps Cross with a secondary illness and for most of the time it was 50/50 as to whether I would come out alive. I still maintain that the only reason I am here to tell the tale is because Frank Lampard's mother had my bed in intensive care, so when the grim reaper visited the hospital he couldn't find me. 

It was at this point, when I had huge bills that I couldn't manage, The Book Trade Charity BTBS first helped me.  They covered the cost of my car insurance so that I could keep my independence.  

In 2009 I was told by the hospital that I would never recover and never return to normal life. It was a harsh reality to face up to and I had to endure a course of CBT with the therapist given the unenviable task of helping me understand that I would never return to a normal life. I refused to accept this prognosis but needed to make some contingency plans, so I had a discussion with The Book Trade Charity about moving into their accommodation 'just in case'

Financially, I had another huge bill and once again a grant from The Book Trade Charity saved the day.  

Always the optimist, I counted up the days and told myself that 2000 days from my accident (October 2011)  I wanted to cycle my dream ride of the C2C regardless of the hospital prognosis. 

But setback after setback occurred and amazingly now I am leading a full and active life, whilst living with a permanent condition that most thought I would never recover from. 

Finally, 4420 days after my accident I will be cycling the C2C from Whitehaven to Tynemouth, 140 miles over 3 days, to raise funds for the charity which has stood by me and held my hand through the most traumatic and stressful events of my life.

So please, give what you can, and help this fantastic charity make a difference to someone else in need. £3000 is the minimum target, not the maximum and if everyone who I ever helped with careers advice or encouragement donated £5, then the amount I could raise would be £10,000 plus.

Links to old blogs

The shocking truth about migraine

Why you should never go into work after an accident

Not so good Friday

Recent donors

06.09.17 Great cause Suzanne.


11.08.17 Good luck, and what a great cause to be riding for!

11.08.17 Best of luck!


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Amy J
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