Care UK colleagues are celebrating their successes after taking three of the top slots in a national ‘Poems in a Pandemic’ competition for carers.
Organised by Care Talk, the competition set out to capture the emotions of care workers during the coronavirus lockdown for an anthology called ‘100 Poems from the Frontline Staff’, with all proceeds going towards supporting the mental health of care workers through art projects.
Daniel John Lim, lifestyle co-ordinator at Care UK’s Francis Court, wrote a poem entitled ‘The Window’ which took first place in the ‘Uplifting’ category of the competition. Daniel’s poem focused on life at Francis Court throughout the pandemic: how the team at the care home have gone the extra mile to support residents to continue living fulfilling lives, and how the community have pulled together to help each other. Having written some poetry in his spare time, Daniel was excited to enter the competition when it was advertised at the care home.
Daniel said: “I’m so pleased that my poem took first place. I moved into the care sector earlier this year and from the moment I joined I was in awe of the team who work so hard every day to put a smile on residents’ faces. This year has certainly had its challenges, but I wanted my poem to capture our team’s spirit and passion for caring for everyone at Francis Court.”
At Harrier Lodge, in Whitstable, there were double celebrations as the team won one category and also took a runner’s up title.
Customer relations manager Theresa Mead wrote a poem entitled ‘Covid Run’ which took first place in the ‘Observation’ category. Theresa’s poem focused on how her routine has changed since the pandemic: from her commute to work to ‘clapping for our carers’, she explored a different aspect of the ‘new normal’ in each verse.
A first-time poet, Theresa wanted to express her feelings for the residents of the care home since the start of the pandemic and her journey through the last few months, even challenging herself to use a rhyming scheme in the poem.
She said: ““To say I was shocked at winning the category is an understatement. I’ve never written poetry before, but then I thought: ‘Well, I will give it a go!’ I’m so pleased I have been able to share my experiences, and express how it’s felt working in a care home throughout the pandemic.”
Colleague and team leader Lisa Cullen was also a finalist in the ‘Reflection’ category for her poem ‘Looking Back’ which shared her thoughts and feelings during the pandemic.
The ‘Bereavement’ category was also won by a Care UK colleague. ‘Tribute to My Residents’ was written by Colette Moreira-Henocq, Residential Care Manager at Knebworth care home in Hertfordshire.
Colette said: “We understand that, when a resident is doing things they personally enjoy in an environment where they feel valued, they will be secure, happy and fulfilled. That’s why we find out everything we can about each person, so we can personalise their care and experiences to suit their needs and preferences.
“With such a strong personal connection, when we lose someone, it always brings sadness and a time for reflection and that thought inspired my poem.”
Other Care UK colleagues who received commendations were:
- Angela Bookham from Broadwater Lodge for ‘I’m Feeling Lost and Lonely’
- Sallie Brown for ‘Her Frail Hands Reach Out to Me’
- Michelle from Snowdrop House for ‘Snowdrop House’ and
- Jo Jordan – for the poem “Angel”
Colleagues are once again sharpening their pencils to take on the Care Workers’ Charity writing competition, which this year, has the theme of Connections.
A full list of all the winners and runners up can be seen here.