The Poetry Cares project uses the power of poetry to engage and inspire people living with memory loss

During our sessions we share well-loved poems and support participants to create poetry. Our work has been shown to help to unlock memories and spark connections for people living with memory loss, their friends and their families.

The project trains practising local poets to deliver poetry and reminiscence sessions across South West England. These upbeat, interactive workshops help stimulate memory and the recall of lost language. The poets work with groups of people living with memory loss and their carers in safe and supportive environments such as Memory Cafes, or in residential care homes. The sessions often culminate in the group creating a collective poem of their own. This paid opportunity for poets also contributes to the enrichment of their own creative practise.

We partner with the Alzheimer’s Society and their network of Dementia Friends to deliver the poet training sessions and have been running the project across South West England since 2017. It was formerly known as the National Memory Day project.

Memory loss is often the first and most distressing part of dementia, a condition which currently affects 850,000 people living in the UK. By 2025, this number is expected to exceed 1 million.

Engaging with poetry helps alleviate confusion and speech difficulties, enriching the lives of those living with memory loss.

Throughout the project we’ve created helpful resources so you can engage with memory loss and poetry in your own time.

Other ways to listen:

  • You can stream the recording on the AHSW website here – scroll down to see the latest episode.
  • You can stream or download to your computer, phone or tablet via iTunes by clicking here
  • You can also listen via Soundcloud here.
We would like to thank the following organisation for their financial support:
  • The Rayne Foundation
  • The Kirby Laing Trust
  • The Elmgrant Trust
  • The Summerfield Trust
  • The Walter Guinness Charitable Trust
  • The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust