Words of Wisdom was a unique creative model developed by Collective Encounters to engage creatively with mainly isolated older people. It took place in health settings, residential care and libraries across the Liverpool City Region.

The principles behind the workshops were that they should be open, accessible, non-threatening and dementia friendly. They were to be creatively stimulating, socially interactive and fun!

We created a pop-up cafe, serving free tea, coffee and cake, using lovely china and playing music quietly in the background. We usually followed a two session model, the first session of the two was open and responsive to the interests of the participants. People would sit together around a table, looking at old photos setting local to the area to stimulate conversation. Words and phrases were written down and then used as the basis for poetry writing later in the session. The second session was more active: an open circle of chairs, usually with a low coffee table in the middle. Exercises included basic drama games, dance and story telling.

Sense Poem

Eye liner, Bee Hive hair dos, huge eye lashes! Mini skirts

The Liverpool Sound – The Beatles, Gerry & The Pace Makers; screaming to the songs by the groups

The smell of teenage sweat – Perfume and Old Spice aftershave

Feels like we’re all going to faint; the closeness of us all, hot and sticky, dancing for hours, not a care in the world.

I could taste the smell of the dank old cellar in the Cavern Club. Smelt like rust and tasted like rust.

But I loved it!

Created collaboratively in a Words of Wisdom workshop in Knowsley