Residents and employees from local care provider and charity, The Fremantle Trust, had their published poems on show in a special collection at Waterstones in Aylesbury, to celebrate World Poetry Day.
The annual global awareness day recognises the role that poetry plays in communicating the values of diverse cultures and the way that it captures the creative spirit of the human mind.
The Trust launched its debut collection, Reflections, in 2017 to mark the 25th anniversary of the organisation. The 2019 anthology was put together due to popular demand as a showcase for the thriving poetry groups that run across the Trust’s older people’s services.
Themes within Reflections 2019 range from the passing of the seasons to poignant lines about love, loss and happiness. A poem entitled ‘What do you do all day?’ is a whistle stop tour of the multitude of activities available to residents, penned by the Trust’s community and lifestyle manager, Sue Faulkner.
88-year-old Peggy Jovanovic is a resident at Icknield Court care home in Princes Risborough who attended the special signing alongside members of the team. Peggy is a life-long lover of verse and an active and influential member of the poetry club at the care home.
Commenting on the importance of poetry, Peggy said: “My brother and I were introduced to poetry by our father when we were very young. We both took to it and have had a love of it throughout our lives. I like words and how they make you feel. For me, words make music.”
Poetry is an enriching activity and very much enjoyed by residents as it stimulates memories and is also beneficial for people living with dementia. Shared reading has a positive impact on mood, concentration and social interaction.
Claire Clarke, manager of Waterstones in Aylesbury, added: “It was an absolute pleasure to invite The Fremantle Trust down to share its marvellous poetry collection, Reflections. It’s so important that we value poetry as a means of connecting communities and joining generations together through the power of creativity.”
Reflections 2019 has been printed in a dementia-friendly format that is bright and colourful with large, easy-to-read font. It will be available to download for free from the Trust’s website via www.fremantletrust.org/about-us/useful-documents