Social care-inspired poetry collection launched

Poet Clare Pollard

A collection of poetry inspired by experiences of social care was launched today by insurance firm Ecclesiastical.

People who care includes four pieces by up and coming poets, inspired by visits to a range of services. They were commissioned by Ecclesiastical after a survey it ran found 80% of the public felt care staff were undervalued by society.

Ecclesiastical’s managing director, Steve Wood, said: “Our aim was to create a document that sheds a different light on the importance of the role that professional carers play, both for the people they care for and their families.”

The poems are:-

  • Ocean drum by Sally Read, which was inspired by a visit to Rainbows Children’s Hospice in the East Midlands.
  • Will you lift your head for me darling? by Esther Morgan, based on a visit to the Rutland Care Village in Leicestershire.
  • Here by Paul Batchelor, which was inspired by a visit to the Thera Thrust mental health support group in Worksop, Nottinghamshire.
  • Leckhampton Court by Clare Pollard, based on a visit to the hospice of the same name, run by Sue Ryder Care, in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

The first stanza of Here reads:-

This must be the place where care begins,

where the soul takes its stand

against the kind of worldliness

that would show the sky its palms

and teach us to look away

or stare;

to speak too soon

or not at all –

Future plans

Ecclesiastical plans to distribute 7,000 copies of People who care to care staff and organisations, while the four poets are planning to return to the service they visited later in the summer to read out their poems to staff.

Pollard, who is the author of three collections of poetry and a play, said: “During the project several people mentioned that carers can often struggle with public perception. People think of hospices as depressing places, for example, but actually they can be a calm space in which people can get help with moving on with their lives.”

Related articles

Read a selection of the poems in full

Submit your social care poetry

National Poetry Day – reflections of a young person in care

Social worker Janice Hutton reveals how she became a Reading Hero


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