Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
10:46 AM 18th June 2020

Ripon Care Home Exhibits Inspiring Poetry And Artwork From Local Children

A creative project is harnessing the unifying power of poetry and art to foster intergenerational bonds, and connect children with care home residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

Anchor’s Borrage House care home in Ripon, North Yorkshire has received an array of imaginative poems and artwork created by local children to display for residents, lifting spirits and letting them know they haven’t been forgotten about during this challenging time.

The Caring Stars project, led by the charity Intergenerational Music Making (IMM) and online platform Night Zookeeper, encouraged children to create a short rhyming poem themed around staying positive and spreading hope during lockdown, along with a piece of artwork to accompany their writing.

Winning poems and drawings were selected from hundreds of inventive entries. These were sent to hospitals and Anchor care homes across the country, to be displayed in their very own ‘Caring Stars’ exhibitions.

With restrictions in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, the project aims to reduce social isolation and loneliness, keep communities connected and bring joy to residents. With children spending more time at home across the past few months, the project proved mutually beneficial in providing them with an opportunity to understand and document this historical moment through a creative outlet.

Catherine Alder
Catherine Alder
Borrage House has proudly displayed the poetry and artwork, receiving an overwhelmingly positive reaction from residents, who have been touched by the thoughtful and moving work from the children. At a time when non-essential visits to the care home are on pause, the poems have provided a sense of companionship and community.

The project is the latest initiative in a long-standing partnership between Anchor Hanover and IMM, as part of Anchor Hanover’s commitment to strengthening intergenerational bonds and valuing residents across the country.

Sarah Aitken, Manager at Borrage House care home, says:
“The arrival of the posters and displaying them on the walls has meant a great deal to the residents. It’s great to see such a wonderful example of inter-generational connection between the children and our residents. During this time, when residents and families cannot see each other, except by Skype or the Facebook portal, and no one knows how long this will go on for, it is lovely to have these positive and inspirational posters. Residents have commented that it is so lovely to be thought of. They are thrilled that the children have shared their beautiful poems.”

Gordon Dinsley
Gordon Dinsley
Gordon Dinsley (age 89), resident at Borrage House care home, says:
“It makes us feel wanted and they make everything look homely. They are bright and lovely and so thoughtful.”

Charlotte Miller, Director of Intergenerational Music Making, says:
“We always enjoy working with Anchor care homes to deliver our intergenerational projects, and see such a positive impact on both residents and the children taking part. Now more than ever, it is vital that we continue to build on these relationships, and tackle loneliness and isolation through the arts. We had some fantastic poems and pieces of artwork sent to us through the competition, and we hope it goes some way towards raising spirits and letting residents know they’re being thought of.”