Residents at Whitebourne have been awarded the runners-up prize as part of Care UK’s nationwide poetry competition.
Care UK’s initiative, in conjunction with National Poetry Day, encourages residents to get their creative juices flowing by putting pen to paper to write their very own short verses and poems. To mark the day, residents at Whitebourne read their favourite poems about childhood and shared their own childhood stories. The stories were used to create a collaborative piece that incorporated the residents’ own personal memories.
‘Childhood Memories’ by Whitebourne residents was selected as a runner-up in the competition, which included entries from more than 100 Care UK homes across the country.
The poem explores what life was like as a child during the war, with personal references such as the memory of learning to ride a bike and having to miss school when the air raid sirens rang. Judges said they felt like they were walking along the lane to school with all the residents, and enjoyed the contrast between the beautiful memories of childhood and the scary memories of wartime.
Derek Purchese, home manager at Whitebourne, said: “We clearly have some talented writers here at Whitebourne, and we are so proud of the residents for being recognised for their beautifully written poem. To be awarded the runner-up prize in Care UK’s nationwide poetry competition is a huge achievement, and it means the world to the residents and all the team members involved.
“Poetry can be a great way to support residents living with dementia. Whether it’s reading aloud or writing down memories, research has shown that poems can often engage and help residents maintain connections as dementia progresses. National Poetry Day is a fantastic annual event that we will continue to support, and it’s a great way to bring people together. Our recent success shows just how much the residents and team members enjoyed developing these thoughtful poems, and it has encouraged us to enjoy poetry throughout the year. We hope this can inspire people caring for an older loved one to do the same.”