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Poole care home celebrates the power of poetry 

Residents from Care South’s Dorset House residential care home in Hamworthy have partnered with local children’s nursery, Muddy Boots and entered in the Poetry Together 2022 competition to prove how powerful written words can be when it comes to bringing different age groups together.

The theme of Poetry Together 2022 is Laughter & Tears, inviting anyone and everyone to come together and celebrate the fun of funny poems, the sadness of sad poems, a bit of both or something in between. The event runs from National Poetry Day on 6th October until the end of November and Dorset House is taking part to highlight the benefits of learning poetry by heart and bridging the age gap between generations. The children from Muddy Boots nursey, aged from two years old, and residents have already come together to write ‘Found’ which is a poem based on the words and phrases of residents.

The importance of poetry and how powerful words can be is evident in resident, Geoffrey who suffered a stroke prior to coming to Dorset House. He was unable to speak and unable to leave his bedroom. Since arriving at Dorset House, Geoffrey is a regular in the garden as he has always been a keen gardener. He enjoys many of the activities within the home and was very keen to be involved in the making of the Dorset House poem. Geoffrey’s speech has improved so much, he can now his lines of the poem loud and clear, which were inspired by his own words.

Sam Baker, Activities Lead at Dorset House, said: “The residents in our care and I saw this competition advertised on TV and together we decided that it would be fun to have a go and create our own entry. I began this as a fun engaging activity for residents allowing them to participate in writing a poem about the home. The brief was to write a poem based on Tears & Laughter and the poem was dedicated to late resident, Ken whose loving words inspired the closing lines. We wanted it to showcase how life in a care home has a positive impact and how we continue to provide residents with rich and fulfilling lives. Residents in our care and the children were all really excited to film the poem; we took on the role of Hollywood stars for the day with lots of laughter and many takes. It was just a wonderful day.

Poetry Together is a national campaign spearheaded by broadcaster, author, and former MP Gyles Brandreth, supported by Dukes Education. It highlights benefits from improved memory and speech development to increased confidence, from learning and reciting poems and aims to bring young and old people together in a shared initiative. 

To find out more about Poetry Together, visit: 

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