A national poetry and painting competition has been launched to help capture the thoughts and feelings of social care and support staff working in care homes and making home care visits during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Our heroes at the frontline of social care are being encouraged to pen words from the heart or create illustrations or paintings that speak a thousand words in turn – as part of the competition that will help mark these most unprecedented times.
There are 10 categories to help capture the experience and emotions of working in the care profession during a pandemic including: Hope, recovery, isolation, humour, reflection, loss, bereavement, observation, uplifting and bravery.
Social care and support staff working in care homes, the community and in all care settings are at the front line of the Coronavirus fight, working alongside the NHS and supporting the country’s most vulnerable people.
The competition is being run by Care Talk Magazine and Think About Care, a new not-for-profit organisation established to support social care staff and help raise the profile of social care.
It has been launched to document the contribution of our social care heroes – in their own words and through their own images.
The winning poems in each of the categories will be published in a book, with all proceeds going to support the mental health and wellbeing of social care workers through arts projects.
Care home activity coordinator Chloe Booth has penned a poem for the competition’s Loss category entitled ‘She wasn’t alone’. She is encouraging fellow care workers across the UK to put pen, pastels or watercolours to paper too, to use creativity as an emotional outlet.
Chloe, aged 24, has worked at a Barchester care home for the last eight years after starting to volunteer there at the age of 16. Her poignant verse captures incredibly emotional moments in time – the moving reality of our social care workers’ days due to Coronavirus.
I had promised her daughters that I would
sing her favourite songs as she gained her wings
You are the dancing queen, young and sweet only 17
I knew she’d be listening whilst hovering between
I facetimed her daughters so they could say goodbye,
they wanted to be there, to hold her and cry
I rang her girls to tell them the news, they smiled and thanked me
‘it was you she would choose’ to lay down beside her and stay until the end,
we are so grateful, you were her true friend
The closing date for poems or paintings to be received is midnight on 31st August 2020. The competition is open to anyone aged 17 or over at the time of entering.
Supporting the competition, Professor Martin Green, CEO at Care England, said: “It is at times of uncertainty that people often turn to creativity as a way to express their feelings and communicate their emotions.
“We have seen the care sector rise to this challenge and I’m so looking forward to reading these poems because they will be a reminder for ourselves and future generations of the spirit of care workers and how they felt in these uncertain times.”
For a long time social care has been the poor relation to health. The pandemic has highlighted the valuable role of social care in supporting the NHS and has seen society accept the need for change and recognition of the sector.
Rules of entry:
1. The competition is open to anyone aged 17 or over at the time of entering.
2. The closing date of the competition is Midnight 31st August 2020.
3. There is no limit on the number of entries a single entrant can make. All entries will be considered anonymously by the judges.
4. Entries must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Under no circumstances can alterations be made to poems once entered.
6. All entries are judged anonymously. The poet’s name must not appear on the poem itself, nor should the poem reference any individual’s personal details in line with GDPR.
7. Poems must be the entrant’s original work.
8. Entries must not have been published, self-published, published on a website or made public on social media, broadcast or featured among the winners in another competition before 31 March 2020.
9. Entries must be written in English.
10. All entries must include: poem category, entrant’s name, job title, organisation, organisation address and contact phone number.