More care homes than ever are expected to celebrate National Poetry Day as part of their programme of events and activities this year. The popular nationwide event, is an annual celebration that inspires people throughout the UK to enjoy, discover and share poems. For care homes, it provides an opportunity to arrange poetry-themed activities and connect with other organisations in their local community who may wish to join in marking the day.
National Poetry Day was founded in 1994 by the charity Forward Arts Foundation, whose mission is to celebrate excellence in poetry and increase its audience. The event enjoys the support of the BBC, Arts Council England, the Royal Mail and leading literary and cultural organisations, alongside booksellers, publishers, libraries and schools.
Read on to learn how your service can participate in this year’s National Poetry Day and the benefits it can bring to your service users. After all, whether it’s Poe or Pam Ayres, everyone loves a poem!
The theme of this year’s National Poetry Day is Change, a subject particularly relevant for older people living in care homes who have seen more change during their lifetimes than any other generation. You may choose to focus on changes in attitudes, changes in technology or even the physical and emotional changes related to the ageing process. Whatever you choose, you can be almost certain there will be a poem to match your subject but if not, you could always write your own!
4 Tips to Celebrate National Poetry Day
- Have a poetry karaoke: Just like a traditional karaoke, this provides the opportunity for everyone to get involved. Those who want to read aloud can bring a poem of their own choice or perhaps take one from a “poetry lucky dip” of suitable poems that you provide. Others may wish to simply sit and listen, but you can be sure that an event which offers variety, fun and the chance to come together as a group will be a success.
- Write your own poems: Many people will not have written a poem since school days but the opportunity to sit together and create something with others can be a great chance to rekindle that creative spark. You may choose to work together to create a single poem as a group or help each person to write their own before reading the finished poem (or poems) out loud and displaying them for others to enjoy.
- Collaborate with others: Why not invite another local group to celebrate National Poetry Day with you? A nearby school, church or scout group may welcome the opportunity to come along and read poems out loud or join in a discussion about their own personal favourites. Bringing different generations together could be an excellent way of stimulating discussion on this year’s theme of Change.
- Hold a poetry quiz: Holding a fun quiz based on lines from famous poems is a great way to get people talking. Can they remember who wrote “I wandered lonely as a cloud” or “Tyger, Tyger, burning bright” or better still, can they quote the next line? Armed with just a handful of familiar poems, you’ll quickly stimulate reminiscence, conversation and laughter.
Want to keep up to date with the latest ideas and developments in activities for care service users? Subscribe to Care Quality Matters. Every month, we provide actionable tips and guidance to help you pass CQC inspections.