Our ELDERS LEADERS hosted an afternoon of poetry, tea and cake for members of Together Dementia Support, who had taken part in our creative phone project WE’LL BE IN TOUCH.

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Elders Leader Catherine reads aloud Jack’s poem inspired by The Tempest

WE’LL BE IN TOUCH was developed in response to the pandemic. The project began in January 2021 following a partnership between the Royal Exchange Theatre and Together Dementia Support, supported by Small Things.

There have since been a further two rounds of the project involving 22 participants from Together Dementia Support and 15 ELDERS LEADERS.

Our ELDERS LEADERS are graduates of the ELDERS COMPANY who lead and initiate creative projects.

The LEADERS telephoned their partner once a week for a month. During each call, The LEADERS shared a piece of text (a poem, song lyric or verse from Shakespeare), invited a conversation about it and then posed a series of questions which led to the creation of a brand new poem.

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Elders Leader Gill reads aloud Hope’s poem inspired by Food Glorious food from Oliver!

WE’LL BE IN TOUCH has so far led to the creation of a poetry anthology, a podcast and a short documentary film . However, due to the pandemic restrictions, no one had managed to meet in person until now.

After the event, ELDERS LEADER Catherine said “It was so lovely to meet Jack and the others and share their poems. It was such a warm friendly atmosphere and everyone really enjoyed the afternoon.”

Jack added “It’s been a real privilege.”

As part of the informal event, LEADERS read out some of the poems.

Afterwards LEADER Jacquie commented “It was a really good afternoon. A super atmosphere and it was very moving in places. It just goes to show there is poetry in everyone.”

Further rounds of WE’LL BE IN TOUCH are planned throughout 2022 in partnership with Together Dementia Support and also for other older people at risk of loneliness and isolation.

Read more about our Elders Programme here.