On Mon 6 Mar, participants in one of Anvil Arts’ community projects gave a special showcase in The Forge as a celebration of their work in Finding the Words: Poetry for People Living with Dementia.
Led by Maggie Sawkins, local poet and former winner of the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry, working in Newman Court Resource Centre, Finding the Words used poetry as a way to encourage creativity and social interaction for people living with dementia.
The project worked on a variety of themes, such as food, favourite places, happiness and memories, and focussed on conversation as the source of creating poetry. Using participants’ own words, Maggie created poems and presented them to the group during the following session.
The sharing event on Monday enabled the new poets to enjoy their work performed in a professional venue – and a brave few even recited some poems for their peers to great applause. Celebrating their work in this way encouraged the group to continue to find ways to live well with dementia and to remind them that taking trips to places, such as The Anvil, and exploring their creativity, need not be things of the past.
Steven Pugh, Day Service Officer Adults Health & Care, Hampshire County Council, said “Every one really enjoyed it and our big thanks go to The Anvil team for taking extra special care in making the finale event for our service users very special. The poetry created from memories and experiences record their lives and give an individual value to each and every one who participated”.