A KEIGHLEY writer is raising cash for charity with hard-hitting poems about burning social issues.

Bernadette O’Horo has turned her pen to subjects such as homophobia, bullying, gender inequality and banning the burqa.

In her thought-provoking verse she has also set out to challenge stigmas and discrimination in relation to issues such as HIV/AIDS.

It is no surprise that the beneficiaries of her writing are charities that work to support vulnerable people at home and abroad.

Bernadette, 29, who writes under the pseudonym Bernie-the-Bolt, attended Holy Family School before working at a supported living complex in Sutton.

Bernie said she fell into writing after experiencing a very chaotic and partially violent childhood, which resulted in her not knowing how to control her emotions or cope in social situations.

She described writing as a 'cathartic coping mechanism' which helps her manage her emotions more efficiently and feel more in control.

Inspired by her own childhood social worker who encouraged her to take up writing, Bernadette is now studying for a social work degree at Bradford College.

She has self-published poetry anthologies entitled Liquorice, A Different Kind of Trainspotter and most recently Take 3, and is currently working on new material for publication in 2018.

She said: “I write poetry which aims to challenge the way people.

“The subject matters I have tackled range from challenging homophobia, bullying, voting and gender inequality to abuse, Barbie dolls wearing hijabs and banning the burqa.

Bernadette recently attended an authors’ convention in Bradford called UK Indie Lit Fest, as a poet and Indie Author.

She added: “I chose to use this opportunity to donate all the profits from my book sales to the Terrence Higgins Trust which works to support those living with HIV and AIDS in the UK, and Save the Children for the Syrian refugees.

“By selling my books online and at the event itself I have managed to raise £142 which I am thrilled with.”

She has a love of 80s music, body art, fashion, history and politics, and illustrates her anthologies with her own photographs.

Bernadette has also appeared on radio and performed her poetry at open mic nights, and in May this year was part of a musical composition in York entitled Resolution of Sound.

Bernadette’s poetry anthologies are available to buy on Amazon, under the name Bernie-the-Bolt.

She writes a blog at bernie102.wordpress.com, and will perform her poetry at Queenie's Coffee House Nights in Huddersfield on Monday September 18.