Service users take part in poetry competition

Posted: 23/04/20

Hands of diverse group of people putting their hands together.

Patients in secure services at Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust have been getting creative by taking part in a poetry competition.

A joint project between the Trust’s education department and the Recovery College, the competition was open to all inpatient wards including Kenneth Day Unit, Bamburgh Clinic, and Tyne and Tweed units.

Organised by education lead Helen Sonnenfeld, the theme of the competition was Easter. This was open to each individual’s interpretation with service users talking about a range of subjects from the Easter bunny and chocolate eggs to how Coronavirus affected the holiday this year.

Helen said: “We were really impressed with the poems by service users. Feedback from staff and service users has been really positive, with many saying they felt it distracted them from their worries.

“It’s vital that service users are able to fill their time with useful activities, especially in the current climate. Producing something they can be proud of and being able to express themselves in a creative way has been great for service users’ self-esteem.”

Two winning poems were chosen based on their creativity and originality and the winners were given a voucher each.

This is the first competition of its kind and thanks to its success, the education team and the Recovery College hope to have them regularly tying in to other significant dates such as VE Day.

CNTW’s education team runs a range of voluntary courses from Maths and English to online basics, economic wellbeing and skills for employment. Ran by a dedicated team of four, the team offers qualifications that help service users gain skills and knowledge and prepare them for returning back to the community.

The Recovery College also offers free courses and activities including confidence building, peer mentor courses and mindfulness. The college is a place where service users can make connections and develop skills to help with their recovery.

You can read more about the Recovery College here.

Winner 1
Easter is normally a time to rejoice,
Coronavirus this year hasn’t given us that choice.
Easter is normally a time to have fun,
this year I can’t even go for a run!
Easter is sunshine and April showers,
I can’t even get outside to see the flowers.
Easter is a chance to see family and friends,
but stuck indoors this lockdown never ends.
Easter chickens and rabbits can run free,
but the end of this dark tunnel I can’t see.
Easter may as well be cancelled this year,
the virus is cruel and so unfair.
Easter this year for some is a living hell.
All I wish for Easter is for my family to be well.

Winner 2
Easter Joy, chocolate eggs,
let’s celebrate our saviour on Easter mourn
when we should all wake,
at the crack of dawn.
When an Easter bunny or Easter fawn,
will be exhausted after delivering your chocolate eggs by the crack of dawn.
Easter stands for peace and good will,
even through bad times
stay positive,
stay still.
There is always a light at the end of the tunnel,
like drinking Easter eggs melted into a drink
through a funnel!
Let’s not forget the Easter Spring lambs,
leaping and jumping bringing joy to all that see.
Easter is a celebration of life,
your mum, your dad,
your kids, your wife.
Easter and Spring go hand in hand,
the weather, is grand.
Growing flowers in an allotment,
or walking on soft golden sand,
I hope Easter brings blessings of love, peace and health
and we should embrace what we have.
Be grateful for the small things in life,
as when you no longer have them
you realise what you had when they are gone.
If you’re unable to live the life you once did
you’ll realise how fortunate you were when it’s gone.
Even if it’s just temporary
sometimes life can be tough.
So, let’s rejoice in celebration
that’s what Easter is.
Remembering that things can only get better
that’s what Jesus did.
With a vibrant spirit
Easter can be such a good time
wishing a Happy Easter to all Mankind.