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New poem gives social care self-funders a voice

Posted on 20 April 2021

Creative writer and poet Vicky Morris has produced a powerful poem based on the experiences shared by people paying for social care. 

For many older people and their families across the UK, having to find and pay for social care is a significant and often unexpected event. 

As part of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Sciences 2020, researchers from the Department of Social Policy and Social Work organised a session between members of the public who self-fund social care and creative writer and poet, Vicky Morris. 

The session allowed participants to share their experiences with others in a similar position while Vicky listened to the emotions that were evoked through their words. Following the session, Vicky turned the findings into a thought-provoking and moving poem.

Dr Kate Baxter, lead researcher and session organiser, said: “Researchers at the University of York have been looking into what it means for those directly impacted either by self-funding their own care or supporting a relative or close friend.

“This poem, and the research led by myself and Dr Mark Wilberforce, aims to raise awareness of the experiences of self-funders and their families and to develop resources to help improve the quality of those experiences.”

Current research projects at the University of York include creating an online resource containing video clips of self-funders talking about their experiences, and investigating the preferences and decisions of older self-funders of community social care as they navigate the social care system.