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Lee, Paul and Karen

Lifeways have supported Lee at Cornmill House for over three years, in a specialist apartment that is fully adapted for his power-assisted wheelchair. Lee loves his apartment which is close to shops and amenities, as well as the home ground of his beloved Leeds United, Elland Road.

Initially nervous about moving into his own home, Lee has gained independence and formed close friendships with the other residents. He enjoys an active social life and also plays football for the Leeds Powerchair FC team.

Since the arrival of lockdown and local restrictions, Lee’s usual activities and pastimes have been affected. Unable to get out and about as much as he was used to and of course with no football matches, Lee turned to poetry as a means to pass the time and express his feelings during these unprecedented times.

Poetry is not only an enjoyable way of exercising creativity, it is also great way to release pent up emotion, allowing people to work through difficult situations, and share thoughts and ideas with others. And Lee has proven himself to be quite the bard, writing a suite of fantastic poems about his life during lockdown. One of them, called “Thank you”, is a piece that pays tribute to the team at Cornmill who have supported Lee and his fellow residents during these difficult times.

It’s a heartfelt and personal way of showing appreciation to the whole team for keeping everyone’s spirits up in the recent months. Paul Brandreth, the Registered Manager at Cornmill House, said, “We were all blown away by Lee’s poem – what a lovely gesture, and we think he has real talent! His poems have been really inspirational to everyone in the service, and they’ve helped us all get through a testing time.”

Paul and his poetry were featured in an article in Care Talk magazine, a monthly free publication distributed to care providers and individuals across the social care sector in September. He has also entered his poem into a national competition ‘Poems in a Pandemic’ - a campaign started during lockdown with the aim of documenting the opinions and experiences of care staff on the frontlines during Covid19.

Thank you

To Paul and all your staff

I’d like to say thanks for all you’ve done

Throughout the pandemic

For each and everyone


You put your lives in danger

And showed us that you care

Even through the dark times

You were always there


Those twelve weeks were difficult

But you also made them fun

We played football in the garden

And we basked in the sun


In these times of uncertainty,

You keep soldiering through

To me you’re all inspirational

And how highly I think of you


I know it hasn’t been easy

And sometimes you hit proverbial brick wall

From the bottom of all our hearts

We would like to thank you all

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