Val Dewey, a resident at Sunrise of Cardiff, has released a book filled with poems she has written - alongside illustrations, and all proceeds of the sale will go to the Alzheimer’s Society.
Val first moved to Sunrise of Cardiff with her late husband, Arnold, who lived with dementia. Val and Arnold were married for just under 59 years, and when Arnold was just 21 years old he served in the military in Hong Kong for almost three years. During this time, Val would send him letters which often included poems she had written for him.
After Arnold sadly passed away, Val joined Sunrise of Cardiff’s weekly poetry club, initially as a hobby. However, her creative flair was unleashed from writing poems and reading them to the rest of the group every week and Sunrise of Cardiff’s Activities Coordinator encouraged Val to think about publishing some of her work.
Val’s poetry book contains poems about her relationship with her late husband Arnold, some also detail her experience living at Sunrise of Cardiff, and a few express her opinions on plastic waste and fly tipping. Sunrise of Cardiff decided to pay for all the printing costs involved in publishing Val’s Book of Poems, so that she is able to raise as much money as possible for the Alzheimer’s Society, the UK’s leading dementia charity. The Alzheimer’s Society provide support, advice, campaigning, and eventually hope to find a cure for dementia.
To celebrate Val’s incredible achievement, Sunrise of Cardiff hosted a launch event on Wednesday 22nd January. The afternoon commenced with a reading of one of Val’s poems by Amy Wack, Poetry Editor at Seren, Wales’ leading independent literary publisher. Following this, Mark Richards from the Alzheimer’s Society, whose wife is a resident in the Memory Care Neighbourhood (specially designed for residents living with dementia), read another of Val’s poems. Finally, Val read a poem she had written to Arnold while he was posted in Hong Kong.
After the residents and guests listened to Val’s wonderful and emotive poems, they were served champagne and canapes. Over 20 copies of Val’s poetry book have been sold so far, and more are available for purchase at Sunrise of Cardiff’s concierge desk for just £5, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Alzheimer’s Society.
Elizabeth May, Director of Community Relations at Sunrise of Cardiff, said:
“We could not be more proud of Val, she is inspirational and extremely talented, and her poems bring us all so much joy. She is raising money for an amazing cause that is very close to all of our hearts, and her poems really aren’t to be missed if you can get your hands on the book. Well done Val!”