Exemplar Health Care residents write poems about summer for National Writing Day

10 July 2020

Picture of Support Worker and resident doing arts

We've enjoyed reminiscing about summer to write a poem or short story for National Writing Day.

In June, we set each of our homes the challenge of writing a short story, poem or comic for National Writing Day, to be in with a chance of winning a WHSmith voucher for their home.

Writing is a great way to have fun and express yourself, and it was great to see so many of our residents and colleagues get involved in the competition. 

Rachel Calladine and Selina Wall, Senior Directors of Operations at Exemplar Health Care had the difficult job of judging the entries, but eventually agreed on 3 worthy winners.

They said: “It was great to see the amazing effort from everyone who submitted a poem or short story for the National Writing Day competition. There were some fantastic entries, which made our decision as judges extremely difficult.

“All of the entries put residents at the heart of it, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the sunshine comes out soon, so that we can all enjoy the great things about summer that people talked about.

Winner: Bridgewood Mews

Colleagues and residents at Bridgewood Mews in Tipton wrote a poem that included a personalised line from each resident about what they enjoy the most about summer, and challenged the reader to think about ‘what does summer mean to you?’

The Activities Team spent time on each unit in the home, brainstorming what summer means to each individual. From travel to the Far East, to tanning knobbly knees and enjoying the football, everyone got involved in this poem, and we think it’s great!

About the poem, the judges said: “We absolutely loved this poem – it was a real team effort and there was something personal to each resident (… and they still managed to make it rhyme!). After reading it we felt really inspired and happy, and it made us laugh, especially the line about tanning knobbly knees!”

A poem about summer from residents and colleagues at Bridgewood Mews

Winner: Parkside

The Activities Team at Parkside in Tipton used the challenge to reminisce with people about their favourite summer holidays and what made them special. They brainstormed ideas, words and memories and created ‘The memory tree’ with a short haiku dedicated to each of their residents.

It sounds like everyone had lots of fun writing the entry, and they shared “We had a lot of laughs, some tears and some very funny or unusual stories told!”

The judges enjoyed the creativity of this entry, saying: “When we got together, it was an unanimous decision that Parkside’s memory tree should be one of the winners. We loved the creativity that went into producing the memory tree – it was something different to all of the other entries. We enjoyed reading the special memories that service users shared to develop the tree, and it was clear that they were very personal to each individual.”

A poem about summer from residents and colleagues at Parkside.


Winner: Ribble View

Residents and colleagues at Ribble View in Preston spent lots of time thinking and talking about all of the great things that they love about summer, to write their poem titled ‘Our dreams of glorious summer days’.

Some of the residents went for a walk in the sunshine to jog their memories, whilst other stayed at home to reminisce. The team shared: “Poetry seemed to be the most natural way of expressing these feelings positively, while clearly demonstrating to our service users the importance we attach to their individuality - everyone's unique picture of summer has been included in this positive and light hearted, summer style poem.”

The judges added: “There was a personal element to each verse that related to individual service users, and the pictures showed us that you were creative in involving everyone in developing the poem. We felt really positive and inspired after reading your poem – with the ideas of dreams and goals. We also enjoyed that there was something in the poem that anyone reading it could relate it.”

A poem about summer from residents and colleagues at Ribble View