Press release:  An Amazon bestselling poetry anthology, written by a client of Headway Nottingham, is available this Christmas. Proceeds from book sales will be donated back to the charity that worked with the author to rebuild her talents and confidence after she suffered a brain injury.

Local woman, Candice Ridley (writing name Candice Flower) 43, dedicated 20 years of her life to saving lives in Intensive Care Units.  As a talented and caring Nurse, she loved her job, performed well and looked forward to continuing her career saving lives, supporting vulnerable people and was on the way to becoming a Psychologist.

In 2015 after slipping in the bath and banging her head, Candice was left with life changing brain injuries and profound disabilities, devastatingly cutting her caring career short and leaving her needing to relearn how to walk, think and care for herself. 

She continues to struggle with physical movements, exhaustion and information processing, but this year, despite the difficulties of lockdown and reduction in face to face support available for people with disabilities, Candice has realised a new dream of becoming a published poetry author. Her heartfelt poetry compilation, ‘Snowdrops in the Winter’, is available now from Amazon in paperback and Kindle download.  

Candice explains:

“I turned to poetry writing as a way of expressing myself. I am by nature a creative person and have found putting words down on paper in my hardest moments quite therapeutic.” 

Before lockdown, Candice attended Headway Nottingham, a brain injury rehabilitation centre in Bilborough, where she discovered her talent and love of writing.  The local charity has continued to support their clients, all of whom experience disabilities as a result of brain injury, with welfare support, activity packs and online rehabilitation workshops.

"I didn't know I had the ability to write poetry until my very first Creative Writing lesson at Headway Nottingham. The tutor asked us to write about Humpty Dumpty in the first person and I felt like she was asking me to write Greek! All I got was the first line in my head and thought 'oh well I will just write that down' which I did and to my surprise the rest of the lines appeared in quick succession.

“I could not quite believe it to be honest that there was actually a whole poem that came from my broken brain.

“I was so nervous to read my Humpty Dumpty poem out to the class that day. I was certainly unsure it was any good. To my surprise I got a huge round of applause and a 'well done!' from the teacher. This praise was met with most of all my work in these classes and was the one day of the week I lived for - my Headway Nottingham day.”

Candice’s book ‘Snowdrops in the Winter’ takes the reader through a relatable journey of heartfelt happiness and reflections on lost loves and loved ones, ending with an uplifting and inspiring message.  She is thrilled that her work has touched the hearts of readers.  On the day of release it became the number one worldwide Amazon bestselling poetry anthology. Candice continues:

“I have noted in the comments from my book release that people have appreciated my vulnerability and have been able to relate to many a poem. I also enjoy capturing the bliss and happier times in life in my poetry. A lot of it is inspired by nature which I love being out in when I am well enough to.”

Grateful for their ongoing support and care, Candice has committed to donating the proceeds of her book to the charity that helped her find her talent and rebuild her confidence. 

“After sustaining a life changing brain injury five and a half years ago, I felt I had lost just about every ability. Having the privilege of attending Headway Nottingham Day Centre and through their various classes, I have learned that not all is lost. They have so skillfully helped me to discover and build on some abilities I still had. Yes, I still feel bereft at what I have lost and I am nowhere near what I was before the brain injury, but I feel brand new in some ways now...and all thanks to the ongoing support of this one of a kind and invaluable charity."

Headway Nottingham’s Services Manager, Charlotte Leask said:

“Candice is a real inspiration to all of us here at the centre and we’re so grateful to her for choosing to donate the proceeds of her book in support of our services.  Candice proves that no one should have to live a life that is defined by disability and that with the right support people struggling with profound physical and cognitive disabilities, can achieve for themselves and feel hopeful for the future.  Every penny raised will help us make sure we continue to rehabilitate and support with complex disabilities, who without our help often struggle to play a part in their communities or achieve to their potential. 

"Snowdrops in the Winter is a wonderful, heartfelt book, would make a perfect Christmas present and we hope our community enjoys Candices’ achievement!”


Note to editors

Headway Nottingham is the only long-term brain injury rehabilitation and support day centre covering Nottingham’s city and county (registered charity no. 1088685). The charity provides rehabilitation, support and respite for people with brain injuries, their families and carers.

For more information about brain injury and how Headway Nottingham works to support those affected, please call visit or call 0115 9679669.  

Candice’s book is available to download to Kindle and is available in paperback for £5.99 from Amazon. 


Key facts

  • 64% of those living with the long-term effects of brain injury reported a deterioration in their mental health as a result of the measures implemented to control the spread of COVID-19, while almost two thirds say they now fear for their futures (figures from national charity, Headway – the brain injury association).
  • 73% of people living alone with brain injuries, and 70% of partners report experiencing increased stress throughout lockdown.
  • Every 90 seconds someone in the UK is admitted to hospital following an acquired brain injury.
  • It is estimated that across the UK there are well over 500,000 people of working age living with permanent disabilities as a result of head injury.
  • Brain injury can impact on every aspects of someone’s life and take away everything that they took for granted about their abilities. People with brain injuries experience disproportionately high levels of family breakdown and depression.

All enquires to Rhiana Lakin at [email protected] or 0115 9679669