THE mother of Martha Fernback, who died from a drug overdose at an Oxford park, has bought people together for a "Human Library" to encourage conversation.

Ann-Marie Cockburn has been on an incredible journey of restorative justice since her 15-year-old daughter's death and has taken inspiration from that to help others.

Ms Cockburn joined The Mint House, Oxford's Centre for Restorative Justice in Bonn Square, to help host a human library.

People can "borrow" a human book and spend time chatting with the person and sharing life experiences.

The event hopes to portray the mantra of never judge a book by its cover and get people talking and moving past initial judgements.

She said: "I wanted to host the human library for a long time and it is all about talking to people.

"If you talk to each other you start to find out so much more. Everyone holds a story and an inner battle.

"I am a single mum and a survivor but I am full of hope and love challenging stereotypes."

Ms Cockburn drew inspiration to host the event from her own experiences writing to the man who sold her daughter lethal ecstasy in 2013.

The pair wrote to each other for about six months through the restorative justice process and she says it saved her from a life of bad energy and feeling.

She said: "Since Martha died three years ago I had a lot of questions for that person and found her death really affected him to.

"Knowing that was a moment for me that opened my eyes. By acting the way I did it left me peaceful and in a way is a positive legacy for Martha."

The human library was hosted on Saturday from 11am to 2pm with nearly 50 visitors heading along to borrow "books".

There were about nine human books on offer, including people such as a 23-year-old Palestinian, a gay minister and a Syrian refugee.

The hope was to show people there is more than meet the eye or in this case the label.

One of the books titled "Brain Injury" was Andrew Baker from Didcot who was born with a brain injury but has gone on to raise more than £60,000 for charity.

He said: "I have been speaking to a lot of people, so am proving quite a popular book.

"I was asked to get involved in the event through my work with the charity Headway and was initially quite nervous but everyone has been really friendly.

"It is all about sharing stories and in my case shows that despite having a brain injury you can still achieve a lot.

"Although I might find life hard and it has been challenging I still just keep going and love doing the fundraising.

"People have told me after hearing my story they've been incredibly inspired and don't quite believe what I have gone through."

The event was held at The Mint House, which recently opened in Bonn Square.

It is hoped it will become a centre for restorative justice and there are plans to host workshops and drop in sessions to bring people together and get people talking.

Visitor to the event Isaac Lodge, 18, spoke with the human book titled Syrian refugee. He said: "It was traumatic honestly hearing her story and experience in such detail. It definitely makes you grateful for what we have.

"The event is a great idea to force people to talk, to go beyond the day to day, and talk to people that you wouldn't necessarily meet otherwise."