Theatre-inspired poems raise thousands for WaterAid

Actor and director Pameli Benham’s collection of poems Plentiful as Blackberries, based on her experiences in the world of theatre, has already raised over £2,500 for WaterAid.


8 Aug 2014 | UK

Actor and director Pameli Benham's collection of poems, Plentiful as Blackberries, combines two of her passions: the theatre, and her dedication to getting clean water and safe toilets to those who have no choice but to live without them.

Pameli, whose next projects include directing Bite Sized at Bristol’s Tobacco Factory and a revival of The Ghost Train, has also appeared in popular TV dramas including Doc Martin, Afterlife and The Fear.

WaterAid supporter Pameli Benham
Pameli Benham (right) at a fundraising event for WaterAid.
Credit: WaterAid


Plentiful as Blackberries, which is based on Pameli's experiences in the world of theatre, came about after the director of Bristol's Poetry Festival heard her perform some of her works and asked her to produce a complete set for the 2012 event.

The resulting collection has now been published by PoetryCan and Pameli has decided to donate all the proceeds to WaterAid – already raising a fantastic £2,535.

"I've acted since I was a child and directed everything from large casts of children, to reviews, cabaret and opera," says Pameli.

"I decided that selling the books for WaterAid would be a good way to raise funds for clean water and sanitation – the foundation of healthy and decent lives – and to send my poems out into the world."


The cover of Pameli's book, Plentiful as Blackberries
Pameli Benham's poetry collection, Plentiful as Blackberries
Photo credit: WaterAid; Book design: Ann Stiddard


A long-standing supporter of WaterAid, Pameli has been raising money for us ever since she and her husband Patrick received one of our appeals with their water bill, and she is now the tireless and inspirational coordinator of our Bristol Local Group.

Alongside her singing group, the Gasworks Choir, Pameli also took an active role in our Sing for Water events, which subsequently evolved into the Harbourside Big Sings – featuring thousands of singers and raising over £50,000 for our work in 2013 alone.

"We are so lucky to have the support of someone as enthusiastic and as talented as Pameli," says Rebecca Dallison, WaterAid's Senior Community Fundraiser.

"The money she has raised through her books, as well as through her hard work supporting Sing for Water Bristol and coordinating the Bristol Local Group, have already transformed hundreds of lives." 

Plentiful as Blackberries is available now for a suggested donation of £5. To request a copy, please email [email protected]