A new project – Creative Conversations

I’ve just started work with Creative Conversations, led by Arts Alive and Media Active. This three year partnership development links experienced agencies for arts and health to help establish new creative opportunities for people aged 55 and over. Participants may want to develop their own creative ideas, acquire new skills that can be shared with others, or may simply wish to try something new. This is a really exciting … Continue reading A new project – Creative Conversations

Poetry and #dementiaawarenessweek

At 8am this morning I was on the phone to BBC Hereford & Worcester, talking about making poems with people living with dementia, and later on, I was in Highwell House Nursing Home in Bromyard, really making poems. I shared printouts of a painting by Joan Eardley around the room of ten people.  Not everyone has dementia, though several have it quite badly.  I’ve been … Continue reading Poetry and #dementiaawarenessweek

Older voices on BBC Shropshire Radio

So delightful this morning to have the chance to share poems made with residents of Highwell House Nursing Home on BBC Radio Shropshire with the wonderfully enthusiastic Jim Hawkins. The link is here: and the clip is at 1hr: 39  (or listen to the show from 1h for more on poetry in Shropshire, including Jonathan Day‘s new work ‘Lyric’). Here’s one of the poems I read.  It was … Continue reading Older voices on BBC Shropshire Radio

Poetry, Punch & Judy in a Care Home

The children sat in front, legs crossed, looking up. You want to be a bit scared, then brought back into the real world again. He had a trail of children following him,  just like the Pied Piper, all bewitched. This week I was working in a Herefordshire care home with a large group of elderly people, many of whom are living with dementia.  I work … Continue reading Poetry, Punch & Judy in a Care Home

Poetry and Dementia – on film

For three years I worked as a freelance poet for In The Pink, a poetry and dementia project managed by Courtyard Arts in Hereford.  As the project reached the end of its funding cycle they made this little film, which focuses particularly on the work I was doing in one of Herefordshire’s care homes.  I like the film because it demonstrates the joy and engagement of … Continue reading Poetry and Dementia – on film

In The Pink – a poetry project with people living with dementia

Lillian cups a tiny bird’s nest in today’s session in a Hereford Care Home.  She isn’t able to speak much, but she was utterly delighted.  It was marvellous to be able to bring such pleasure. What bird lived here?  So sweet. Soft.   Keeps warm, I expect. I don’t think we could do that. They’re so clever. They just do it with their beaks. true     … Continue reading In The Pink – a poetry project with people living with dementia

Barrels and Orchards of Apples

A wonderful afternoon full of laughter and conversation with elderly people in a Herefordshire Nursing Home.  I work regularly as a poet with the Courtyard Arts’ award-winning project, ‘In The Pink’, which employs professional poets to go into care settings to work with people living with dementia. The project is mentored by John Killick. I took in a bag of different Herefordshire apples – Crispin, … Continue reading Barrels and Orchards of Apples