As part of our ‘Care to Create’ initiative, we have been encouraging our residents to put pen to paper and engage with the written word. For some residents, it has been many years since they’ve had the opportunity to try their hand at letter writing or poetry but for others, like Margaret Lamb resident at The Grove Care Home, writing is a much-loved lifelong hobby.
Margaret puts her love of writing to practical use and is the author and editor of The Grove’s monthly Newsletter. Margaret has written the newsletter for the past three years and says she has enough content to write a book ‘Diary of Care Home Residents’! We asked Margaret to tell us about why writing is important to her.
I started writing a monthly newsletter for The Grove in July 2016 in response to the Activities leader (at the time) appealing for a wordsmith willing to take the task on. Someone suggested me – probably because I was always writing (usually favourable) opinions and suggestions in the Chef’s ‘comment’ book. My original newsletter was only 2 pages long, a recent issue was 9 pages in length.
I agreed to tackle a newsletter because I have always enjoyed writing and wanted to keep my brain cells active! My ideas for content come from anything topical; Grove events, sport, books, food, humour, quizzes, TV, weather. I always say it is possible to write about anything.
Future topics will include Marmite, handbags, beards, winter warmers, swimwear through the ages, your favourite carol and Norfolk revisited.
50-60 people read the newsletter; residents, their families, my friends, and family are on a mailing list! Staff and visitors to The Grove (class instructors, choirmaster, and the reminiscence man) always seem pleased to have a copy.
Issues I have been proud of are 1. Family history 2. Story of a town – Immingham, its growth from a small community called ‘Tin Town’ to a thriving community, today, with its busy port handling the largest tonnage of goods in the UK. Also, its association with the Pilgrim Fathers, who sailed from there in 1620. Several pieces of my writing have been published in a quarterly magazine ‘The Lincolnshire Poacher’.
I have always enjoyed reading and writing. When I was ten, I won a half-a-crown postal order from the local paper for writing a book review of my favourite book, ‘The Secret of Spiggy Holes’ by Enid Blyton. English was my 2nd favourite subject at school, the 1st was PE. I later taught PE and after a 10-year break (small children) returned to teach English. After the premature death of my husband I retired, took up golf and volunteered for Cancer Research UK, fundraising and wrote many letters of appeal and thanks in my role as secretary for the Grimsby charity.
Apart from writing I like to keep abreast of current affairs, reading, cinema, some TV, keeping in touch with family and friends and since being at The Grove have reignited an interest in sewing, knitting, baking, singing, quizzes and scrabble, all of which I enjoy.
My wishes for the future mirror things I have always wanted to do but have not done yet. I have traveled a good deal but would have liked to visit Canada, New Zealand, Brussels, Bruges, and Barcelona and see the Northern Lights! Realistically I would be content to visit Horncastle (a small Wolds town that presents itself well) walk around the adjacent park and visit Tetney Village Teashop six miles from here.
Pipe dreams aside, I am content with my life here with its good food, good care and fulfilling activities laid on. I am also lucky that I am quite content with my own company.
Margaret Lamb – The Grove, Waltham