Royal audience for Write Out Loud poet Fred Varden at plaque unveiling

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A Manchester poet who blogs regularly on Write Out Loud has read a specially-commissioned poem at the unveiling of a plaque by Princess Anne. Fred Varden delivered his poem at the unveiling of a plaque organised by ROC Restore, a restorative justice project by national charity Redeeming Our Communities. The Princess Royal unveiled the plaque at the Fuse Community Centre in Partington, to mark five years since the project started.

ROC Restore has 100 volunteers who bring together those who commit low-level crime with their victims across Greater Manchester and solve neighbourhood disputes. The six stanzas of Fred’s poem ‘Restoration’ contained a reprise - “Restoration. Reparation, Agreement, Peace” - which sum up the aims of restorative justice.

Fred has recently read a couple of times at Write Out Loud Sale. He added: “I have only been writing poetry since last May but you will see from my blog profile that I’ve been quite prolific really. I have become known locally for writing poems for certain occasions and topics, so ROC, the organisation receiving Princess Anne, asked me to write a poem about restorative justice, the reason for HRH’s visit - she’s the patron of the Restorative Justice Council.

“Last year I was asked to write a poem for a tree planting ceremony in aid of the Manchester bomb victims which is ‘Tree of Hope and Peace’ on my blog.  I have also recently written poems for people who have lost loved ones.”

This is Fred’s restorative justice poem:




by Fred Varden


In these days of anti-social behaviour

Nuisance and more petty crime

A way has been opened to broker

An agreement to repair any harm

Restoration, reparation,

agreement, peace


The importance of an

admission of wrongdoing

By the person who committed the crime

Helps in bringing all parties together

To discuss and agree in good time

Restoration, reparation,

agreement, peace


Now everyone involved in the process

Must voluntarily agree to take part

Participants can reach an agreement

For a way to put right any harm

Restoration, reparation,

agreement, peace


Being there to consider the issues

Relating to what has been done

And with all of the parties permission

We’ll make a way for you all to move on

Restoration, reparation,

agreement, peace


Now for many years this organisation

Has been working to bring about change

In a way that is seen by their partners

as unique and it works in the main

Restoration, reparation,

agreement, peace


So, let’s celebrate on this occasion

With her Highness, the good Princess Royal

Who herself supports fairness and justice

And like ROC is willing to toil.

To bring …

Restoration, reparation,

agreement, peace




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Fred Varden

Thu 25th Jan 2018 11:58

Ah thanks Colin, it was a wonderful experience and yes you are bang on....Forgiveness is so important but the hardest part. This was expressed in a video shown to HRH when people said it was very difficult to forgive, but the process did help with that. Cheers.


<Deleted User> (13762)

Wed 24th Jan 2018 15:36

Good work Fred and such a worthy cause. It's good to hear about the positive actions people are taking in our communities and your four word mantra is very fitting. I might add 'forgiveness' to the list - perhaps the hardest part of any dispute or disagreement process but which brings the most effective closure. All the best Fred and more power to your pen and poetry! Colin.

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