Poetry at The Paddocks

Speech choir_The Paddocks1Reciting poetry aloud as part of a speech choir has helped improve the wellbeing of some of the residents at The Paddocks, Milton. And to celebrate their achievements, the speech choir has created a book featuring a collection of over 70 poems written by themselves and some family members.

The speech choir has been running for over three years. Meeting once a week, the group is like a music choir but instead of singing together they perform spoken-word pieces of poetry, and also write their own poems.

John Drew, a former accountant, moved with his wife Gill into The Paddocks just over two years ago. They are both in the choir. He said: “I always wanted to write. I was a bit antisocial and having come to The Paddocks I wasn’t really keen on joining any classes, but my wife persuaded me to join the speech choir. One of the things I’ve really enjoyed doing in the last few months is having to write something in the space of 20 minutes which really forces you to concentrate. It’s good fun. I think being in the speech choir has made me more cheerful, though my wife would probably disagree with that!”

The group is selling copies of their poetry book, and all funds will be invested back into The Paddocks for residents. The books are £5.00 each and can be bought from The Paddocks. Or if you would like a book posted to you (additional £1.50 postage cost) contact Elizabeth-Rae Large at elizabeth-rae.large@greensquaregroup.com

Elizabeth-Rae who is activities co-ordinator at The Paddocks, said: “The group are so pleased with the book, they’ve worked hard on it and it’s something really special for them.”

The speech choir, which is run by Mandyrae Jessey, is open to non-residents at a cost of £2.00 per session, as well as other activities including endorphin club and New Age Kurling. Residents also run other activities including bingo and crafting. Elizabeth-Rae, continues: “There is an active community in the Wychwoods and the surrounding area, and we enjoy being part of it. Our different activities, our restaurant and other facilities are all open to the public, to be enjoyed by all. Last year we held a ‘Holiday at Home,’ where we brought the seaside to Milton complete with sand, sea and a donkey!”

Which all goes to show that The Paddocks, a modern extra care centre ,with its 44 apartments for those aged 55 and over, apartments available as either shared ownership or for rent, is a vibrant and very welcome part of the Wychwood community.

Lizzie Large

June-July 2019