Caer Gwent participates in project with local school for National Poetry Day 12th October 2021 One of our care homes has recently taken part in an intergenerational initiative with local project, Poetry Together, to encourage connections between the young and old through the joy of performing poetry. Caer Gwent partnered with Project Together, a national project that connects both residents and children at local schools, to come together to learn a poem of their choice by heart. Over the last few weeks, residents and children selected and have been practising the poem, 'You are old, Father William' by Lewis Carrol, which was performed over Zoom with children from Our Lady of Sion School based in Worthing on the 7th of October. Studies show that poetry provides many benefits to both the young and the elderly. With young children, poetry helps build essential language skills in vocabulary, and improve performance at school and concentration. For the elderly, engaging with poetry encourages stimulation of the brain, improving memory and communication skills. Clare Feest, Care Home Manager at Caer Gwent, said: “The Poetry Together project is such a wonderful initiative and we have been honoured to have been a part of it this year. Our residents had such an enjoyable afternoon taking part in learning and performing the poetry recital with the children. “It was such a great and creative way to connect with the local community and celebrate the wonderful art of poetry. One of our residents, Cyril, really shone when reading the poem and hopefully next time, things will be different and the residents and children can meet and talk afterwards over a nice cuppa.” One resident at Caer Gwent shared their thoughts on the poem recital and said: “Thank you so much for this morning, you have truly given us a perfect morning.” Another resident said: “It is wonderful to be able to talk to the children on the TV and I really enjoyed the morning.” Karen Basett, Year 6 Teacher at Our Lady of Sion School, said: “The children were all very pleased with themselves and were very touched to hear the voices of the elderly." “One particular gentleman was very committed to the poetry reading which made us all smile and then to hear one of your residents singing a little song was delightful as we said goodbye.” Poetry Together is the brainchild of author, broadcaster, and poetry fanatic, Gyles Brandreth. Growing to success last year during the height of the pandemic, Poetry Together allows local schools and nearby care homes to come together to share and rejoice in the joys of reciting poetry together.