Dales Tales Anthology Launch

I’ve just come back from an exciting time at Newholme Hospital. The Dales Tales poetry anthology has now been officially launched! With a gathering of patients, hospital staff, the Friends of Newholme Hospital, and some dignitaries from Derbyshire County Council and Derbyshire Community Health Services, we introduced the project, read some of the poems, gave out copies of the beautiful looking anthologies, and enjoyed a good buffet!

You can buy the book here, as a paperback or an e-book! Just click this link. All the proceeds go to the Friends Of Newholme Hospital.

The hospital also officially unveiled the sculptures that staff and patients have been making to commemorate the centenary of the start of World War One. The patients have been working on a statue of a soldier and a nurse, to represent the work of Newholme Hospital as an auxiliary hospital for wounded soldiers.

Guests at the launch were invited to write lines of poetry for the soldier and the nurse:


The Soldier

I never knew what my paternal grandfather looked like.

He looks deep in thought.

I hope you recover from your vital but difficult time-service.

I hope you get home safe to be with your family and friends.


The Nurse

The uniform looks very smart, but I’m glad I don’t have to wear the hat.

Thank goodness we do not have to do your horrific training, to look after the sick.

It must be heartbreaking, seeing so many young men

Whose lives and dreams are shattered.

As you dry their tears,

I hope that someone comforts you too…


The Story of Private William Henry Rowbottom

The soldier is not anonymous.Riverside Ward’s Occupational Therapist Lorraine Turner has written this wonderful introduction to him, and what he means for the hospital:

“Hello, I have been given the fictional name of Private William Henry Rowbottom. I have been created by the patients and staff on Riverside Ward as part of the Newholme Hospital commemoration project to mark the 100th anniversary of WWI. This seems especially fitting, as Newholme Hospital in Bakewell was one of the WWI auxiliary hospitals (60 beds), set up to care for the thousands of wounded soldiers returning from the Front.

Well, suddenly, I appear to have risen up through the “ranks” from a mere Private to “ambassador”, almost overnight! An ambassador for patient experience, especially for those who have dementia.

My role, on this occasion, is hopefully to make an important contribution to helping Health Professionals, carers and families to recognise how opportunities to participate in creative expression are essential to those people who have dementia, in order for them to continue to lead meaningful and fulfilled lives.

In particular, I want to highlight how my “creators” were given the opportunity to work alongside their peers and the ward staff, to achieve a common goal, i.e. creating me! The wider goal, most importantly, is to honour those who served and died in World War One. This “collective and community” approach, generated a creative energy that actually allowed the Riverside patients to do and subsequently achieve things that perhaps, if they had been approached to do on their own, might have struggled to do. Riverside believes that this is an illustration of the power of connectedness and belonging.

I hope that by story that we can enthuse and inspire others to embrace the Arts and promote opportunities for creativity across all healing and care environments, promoting not just innovative interaction, but also a sense of community, vitality and sense of belonging.

I ask only one thing of my “readers”, and that simply is that they consider dismissing the term disability when considering dementia, and embrace creativity and think of the possibilities that can be unlocked and developed when we consider what Kitwood (1997) referred to as “Rementing”, for his theory that a nourishing care environment can create new brain growth and capabilities even in the face of advancing dementia.”

For further information, please contact the therapy team on Riverside Ward. Tel 01629 817962. or email Lorraine.turner@dchs.nhs.uk or Alexandra.green@dchs.nhs.uk


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