Banbury dementia victim publishes book of poetry

Jo Davies and Jacqui Peedell NNL-170620-120540001
Jo Davies and Jacqui Peedell NNL-170620-120540001

A collaboration between a woman with vascular dementia and her support worker has resulted in an inspirational book of poetry.

Jacqui Peedell and Jo Davies’ publication is called To Forget with Grace and is providing encouragement to others living with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Ms Peedell who lives near Banbury has been coping with the symptoms of vascular dementia for several years. She was diagnosed in 2014 aged 51.

“I first met Jacqui through my role as a one-to-one support worker with Young Dementia UK,” said Ms Davies.

“We were both keen on enlightening the public about the realities of living with early onset dementia - not in a gloomy way but to inspire and even raise a smile - so we decided to retell Jacqui’s brave and pragmatic story in a series of illustrated poems.

“We began by thinking of subjects that meant something to Jacqui - her relationship with her daughter, the benefits of music and tricks and strategies to help problems caused by memory loss.

“Jacqui talked and I wrote,” she said.

Ms Davies ‘sculpted’ each monologue into a poem. Together they refined the work until it conveyed exactly what Mrs Peedell wanted to say.

Mrs Peedell has given recitals of her poems in London, Oxford and Stockport and with Ms Davies, hopes to raise awareness of Early Onset Dementia and to reassure people recently diagnosed, that living a full and positive life is still very possible.