Hello visitors and those providing care or caregiving to someone close. Here is another carer awareness blog from Matthew Mckenzie, carer activist, poet and author from Lewisham.
This blog is about Carers Lewisham Hub’s culture day. Carer centres are a vital part of providing support and services for those giving unpaid care. Carers Lewisham fights hard to identify carers, advocate for them and give as much support as possible.
I often visit the carers centre for their forums and support groups. On the 28th of July 2022, since the borough of Lewisham was the borough of culture. Carers Lewisham was hosting their culture day at their carers centre. A list of activities, networking and events was provided for carers who wanted to feel valued.
We had the game room and Raffle ticket event. Massage for those who have stress, aches and pains. Creative art sessions for those wanting to be……well creative. We also had laughter workshop, book readings and also my poetry reading (more on that later.)
I think most of all, carers who came along to the event wanted to network with others. They wanted to reduce isolation and link up with carers, staff and advocate to get support, information and to feel valued.
Since my poetry book “The Poetry book of mental health caring” was released in July 2022. Carers Lewisham was kind enough to offer me a poetry workshop. It is well known that over time, poetry can contribute to forms of culture. Most if not all my poems focus on the aspect of the caring experience. The poems look to raise the awareness of those providing mental health care. That means providing unpaid care to someone suffering mental illness.
At the book reading and poetry workshop, we had other carers reading from their poems which they have developed. Tess read a wonderful poem and also Brenda.
I ran my workshop by reading a poem and then asking others to also choose a poem to read. We then reflected on the meaning and definitions of those poems. You can see the video of my poetry workshop below.