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Residents reading the Reflections poetry book with Leisure and Lifestyle manager Sue Faulkner

The Fremantle Trust is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a special collection of 25 poems created by older people across its North Bucks services.

‘Reflections’ is an anthology that will launch on National Poetry Day (28th September), which was originally set up to inspire people across the UK to enjoy, discover and share poems.

The collection of work has been co-created by leisure and lifestyle manager at the Trust, Sue Faulkner, along with residents from Carey Lodge care home (Wing), Chesham Leys nursing care home (Chesham), Fremantle Court nursing home (Stoke Mandeville), Icknield Court care home (Princes Risborough) and Lewin House nursing home (Aylesbury).

Poetry reading is a fundamental part of the reminiscence work that the Trust includes within its activities to encourage conversation and share ideas. It is particularly beneficial for people living with dementia to bring back memories and stimulate the imagination.

‘Reflections’ features poems across a breadth of themes, from nature and the change of seasons, to the seaside, flowers, wartime recollections and love - all emotive subjects that resonate with people and create an emotional connection.

Margaretta Russell at Carey Lodge is just one of the residents who has participated in the project and is a lover of poetry and writing short stories. Margaretta was in the Reserved Occupation during the war and then re-trained to become a primary school teacher in Shropshire. She doesn’t always write her poetry down but is able to recite some of her work from memory.

A local published poet originally from Lincolnshire, Pamela Brockwell, is a resident at Fremantle Court and has contributed three poems towards the anthology, including ‘A Hesitant Valentine’ about the fear of unrequited love. A fan of Robert Brook and John Mayfield’s work, Pamela’s love of words was evident from the age of 11 as she enjoyed lessons on poetry in school.

Commenting on the poetry collection, Sue Faulkner, leisure and lifestyle manager at The Fremantle Trust, said:

“We wanted to develop something really special to mark our 25th anniversary and by using poetry as a creative stimulus, it became clear that it was a great medium for expressing emotion and making a connection.

“Our poetry sessions are a really valuable way of articulating memories that are deeply treasured. Pamela (Brockwell) says she feels ‘elated’ when she writes poetry and it’s clear that this piece of work has opened people’s hearts and minds to the power of creative writing to capture and share memories together.”

‘Reflections’ can be downloaded free of charge on the link below.