Roy Peach has a reputation as one of Oxfordshire’s award-winning youth workers and is now becoming known for another talent - writing poetry.

He has just published 75 poems in a book entitled Look Inside - Poems of the Heart, Soul, and Mind.

He embarked on this venture in the uneventful period between Christmas 2022 and the New Year.

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He said: “With wrapping paper strewn around, family wallowing on the sofa and not being a big TV-watcher, I needed to do something to prevent my mental health collapsing. 

"I’ve had experience of poor mental health and was itching to keep busy for 10 days until I went back to work.”

A Facebook advert appeared on his computer, for a writing sanctuary, offering a calm space of solitude and sparks of inspiration for writing poetry and reflections with free advice on how to develop a more regular writing practice.

What followed, he says, was “10 days of pure bliss, being supported by fellow writers”.

He adds: “Resettling into the writing groove after a lengthy period of pushing my writing to one side allowed me to immerse myself again in a pursuit I’ve always loved.”

He tells his readers: “I truly hope that at least one poem in the book resonates and brings you joy, happiness and healing.”

Oxford Mail: Look InsideThis isn’t the first time that 36-year-old Mr Peach, of from Kidlington, has written poetry - his poem Hugs and Kisses featured in an exhibition at the Victoria Gallery and Museum in London during the pandemic.

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His previous connection with the literary world has been varied, with short stories featuring in Writing Magazine and a short story, film script and poetry in international competitions.

His debut two-act play, All at Sea, was performed at the Unicorn Theatre in Abingdon to critical acclaim in 2019, and he recently released his debut song, Don’t Tell Me, on Spotify.

The poetry book has already been acclaimed by best-selling author Beth Kempton, who said: “Roy Peach shows us that there is poetry hovering just beneath the skin when we take the time to look inside.”

Mr Peach, a qualified youth worker, who runs Kennington Youth Club, follows in the footsteps of his late father, Colin, who wrote poetry in his spare time.

Here is one of Roy's poems:

Look Inside 

Look inside and you will find

Answers to all that is on your mind.

A guiding light, a golden spark,

A song as joyous as a lark.


We may reach out and seek support,

But know it’s merely an escort

To find out what’s already within,

And accepting that is the greatest win.


The power and strength already resides

In each of us if we look inside.

For all of life, from our day of birth,

We each deserve a place on earth.


You are special, needed, loved,

And should never let yourself be judged.

Unless you judge that you are great,

Because on that point, there is no debate.

The poetry book is available for £9.99 at The Woodstock Bookshop in Woodstock and at

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

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