Finding the Words: Poetry for People Living with Dementia

Finding the Words: Poetry for People Living with Dementia

In 2016 Anvil Arts launched its pilot poetry project, Finding the Words: Poetry for People Living with Dementia for service users of Newman Court Resource Centre in Brighton Hill.

Facilitated by professional local poet, Maggie Sawkins, the five-week programme saw eight participants discover new poems and reacquaint themselves with ones they were already familiar with. They also became directly involved with the creative process by discussing topics such as travel, food and happiness in order for Maggie to create poems using their words only.
 
Dementia currently affects around 850,000 people in the UK and, whilst they may experience symptoms such as memory loss, confusion and altered perception, it is still possible to live well. Arts projects can help people living with dementia to engage with their family, friends and peers through the confidence gained by creative stimulation, and Anvil Arts aims to connect with all members of the community through a variety of projects, such as this one, where people may not otherwise be able to access arts and culture.
 
Participants of Finding the Words said that they ‘enjoyed the companionship’ as well as ‘talking about childhood, theatres and London’, and staff at Newman Court noted that some members of the group were engaging when they did not usually participate.
 
The project ran again in early 2017, allowing the participants the opportunity to perform their work in The Forge. Read all about the Finding the Words event from March 2017.

You can read all the poems here