Last night, to celebrate our Dignity and Light poetry exhibition at Paintworks in Bristol, we held a private viewing and poetry recital, hosted by Ali Vowles of BBC Points West.

Guests had the chance to visit the exhibition first to read the beautiful and thought-provoking poetry that has been curated - and often written - by poet Rogan Wolf in partnership with United Response. Much of the poetry was inspired by time Rogan spent with people we support with learning disabilities.

A fantastic display of creativity

Ali Vowles kicked off the evening by praising the exhibition as a fantastic display of creativity, with the power of poetry reaching places that perhaps other words do not reach. She then invited Rogan Wolf to say a few words on the background of the project and how United Response joined forces with him to bring the new collections to life. 

Rogan read a selection of poems about his late sister, Kim, who had Down’s Syndrome, one of which spoke of her delight in dancing.

Poem entitled Kim Dancing

Our own director of policy and communications, Diane Lightfoot, then stepped up to say a few words, concluding by saying that this exhibition helps create a bridge to people who are often misunderstood and reading her poem of choice: Meeting the Humming Bird.

Poem entitled Meeting the Hummingbird

"This has spurred me on to write my own poetry"

Tim Jones, United Response’s South West divisional director, introduced one of the highlights of the evening: two people supported by United Response, Jo and Alison, who read the poems they had chosen from the new collections.

Jo was a natural at reading in front of a crowd of guests, and even hinted that she would like a spot on air! She told Ali: “I love poetry, when I read a poem it calms me down, and this exhibition has spurred me on to write my own poetry."  Alison said she loved it!
Ali Vowles closed the recital by encouraging everyone to take time to read all the poems in the collections, as they are inspiring in their creativity.

Guests' comments included: “a wonderful exhibition that really makes you think”, “it inspired me to get into poetry” and “an excellent idea, well presented, interesting and illuminating”.

Download your favourites

As a memento of the exhibition, guests took home a lovely book, which includes all the poetry featured in the exhibition. 

You can download all your favourite poems from the exhibition below.

Download your own copy of the Dignity and Light poetry collection

We would love it if you could make a donation towards the cost of producing the books, so that we can continue to support and inspire others with learning disabilities, physical and mental support needs to live their lives as creatively and independently as possible.

Thank you.

Make a small donation

Lindsey Simmonds, project manager.