KiB and COVID-19
Older people feel more alone and isolated than ever before now that care homes and most hospitals have cancelled visits. The crisis hasn’t stopped KiB: our singers are spreading cheer at a safe distance – on doorsteps, through windows, and in the streets.
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Working with Leycester House Care Home in Warwick, we launched a poetry competition called ‘What Happiness Means to Me’ and asked local students to get creative. The response was amazing. More than 70 young people ( aged six to 18) sent in their entries to be judged by members of Leycester House Poetry Club. These poetry-loving seniors are not easily impressed, but even they were stirred by the quality of writing.
“The residents have been delighted by the amazing response, and touched that so many children took the time to think of brightening the day for them,” says KiB’s Caty Oates. The judges were particularly inspired by the powerful imagery in many of the poems, like this one by Jessica Bryn from Rugby High School, about her grandfather (pictured together below).
You’ve been in my life since the start,
Stepping into shoes not your own,
Being there for me all these years,
Making sure I never walk alone.
We travelled many a place,
Paths, roads and towns galore,
Always treating me to a (shush!) ice cream,
Time with you was never a bore.
When our contact was cruelly cut by Covid,
I knew this wasn’t the end,
Built with resilience, you are a fighter,
Just like your granddad and his friends.
And although I can’t see your memory wrinkles,
Feel your green fingers on mine,
I look forward to our phone calls,
Fridays, between seven and nine.
Because you are my happiness,
Thank you for everything you do,
From bike maintenance to a taxi driver,
I couldn’t imagine life without you.
Granddad, for forever and always,
I love you.
The winners will appear at the next poetry club meeting, over zoom, to read their work. Winners in the 7-10 age group: Anderson Pegler and Ella Ward, both from Woodloes Primary School. Winners in the 11- 14 group: Natalie Saternus from Trinity School and Chloe Potts from Princethorpe College. Bridey Bingley from North Leamington School and Jessica Bryn from Rugby High School took the top prizes in the 15-18 category.