Care home residents across the country have their pens and paper at the ready in anticipation of World Poetry Day (21 March).
The annual celebration of rhythmic literature promotes the reading, writing and teaching of poetry throughout the world. This year, more than 40 Care UK homes are organising events for residents, relatives and their local communities. Click here to find your nearest participating care home.
In preparation for their events on Wednesday 21 March, Care UK’s lifestyle teams have been busy organising poetry writing workshops, poetry recitals, and visits from local authors and schools to give people the opportunity to share and talk about their favourite poems.
Care UK residents are also being supported to create their own short verses and poems to enter into a national poetry competition to mark World Poetry Day.
In Cheadle, Abney Court has been preparing by inviting pupils from a local school to work with residents in creating a collaborative poem about life at the home. There will also be a performance from an amateur dramatics group and poetry recitals.
To mark the celebrations, Bowes House in Hailsham will be opening its doors to the local community for a poetry themed afternoon tea. Residents are also looking forward to welcoming local storyteller, Sue Knight, who will be sharing a special poetry recital.
Davers Court residents in Suffolk have been penning their own poems which will be showcased on a specially created display at the home. Also in Suffolk, the team at Hartismere Place is excited to be hosting an afternoon with the Suffolk Poetry Society, while residents at Cedrus House will be welcoming local poet, Alan Jones to the home.
Cedrus House manager, Michelle Webster, explains why the home is one of many taking part in this year’s World Poetry Day celebrations: “Poems and limericks are something that we have all grown up with, and most people will have a favourite that they can recall from their younger years, so reading these can be a meaningful reminiscence activity.
“For older people living with dementia, somebody reading aloud to them – whether it be a poem or short story – can have many therapeutic benefits. Not only is it calming, but it is also helpful for people with restricted eyesight, and soothing for those who are less able to communicate.
“Poetry is a great way to express emotions and memories, and writing your own verses is an enjoyable activity for all the family. We hope that the local community will join us in sharing their favourite rhymes or creating their own poems to read aloud to their loved ones.”
Residents at Darlington Court in Littlehampton are planning to make a trip out to their local library, where they will able to enjoy their favourite poems and books together. Special guest, storyteller Bernard Tagliavini, will be visiting the home ahead of World Poetry Day to read a selection of popular poems to residents and visitors.
In Hertfordshire, residents at Knebworth care home are looking forward to a visit from pupils at St. Michael's Primary School, who will be joining in the rhyming fun with a poetry recital. The home is also welcoming Hazel Bell, a member of a local poetry study group, who will share her knowledge about the history and development of poetry in England.
Meanwhile, residents at Broadwater Lodge in Godalming will be joined by Broadwater Secondary School for what promises to be a fun-filled afternoon of rhythmic reading and writing. And in Newbury, Winchcombe Place is inviting children from Winchcombe Primary School and Happy Kids Nursery into the home to share their favourite poems with residents.
Buchanan Court in Harrow is opening its doors to children from Highlands Preparatory School, who will be giving a special performance of their favourite nursery rhymes, residents at Sherwood Grange in Kingston have been writing their own poetry and, at Elizabeth Lodge in Enfield, residents, relatives and the Care UK team will be sharing a poem that was published by late resident, Robert Will.
This is just a selection of the events taking place nationwide in Care UK homes. Click here to find your nearest participating care home and to download the ‘As easy as ABC’ guidebook, which is full of ideas and tips for creative activities.