An acclaimed poet who lives in the North East has dedicated himself to raise funds for a charity that improves the lives of older people through creativity.
Tolu A Akinyemi, author of Dead Lions Don’t Roar, has pledged to raise funds for creative ageing charity Equal Arts by donating proceeds from sales of the book over the next six months.
Tolu launched his fundraising by hosting a workshop with the hensioners and schoolchildren in Wood Green, Gateshead. Their challenge was to write their own poem based on Tolu’s signature poem, Dead Lions Don’t Roar.
HenPower operates in more than 40 care homes, engaging older people in arts activities to promote health and wellbeing and reduce loneliness. It encourages creativity in care settings at a time in life when most people are slowing down.
Ben Wilson, Individual Giving Officer at Equal Arts, said: “Our team works to improve the lives of older people through creativity. Tolu understands the importance of creativity and the benefits it can bring. It was great to see him working with the hensioners who found his work very uplifting.”
Tolu spent the afternoon working with the group sharing poems and creating new rhymes as part of his ongoing work with HenPower.
Jos Forester-Melville, who heads up the charity’s HenPower project, added: “Tolu really supports his local community through donating funds and dedicating his time to support them to be creative.”
A similar venture with Age UK Northumberland saw the charity receive a donation of £1,000 from Tolu earlier this year, to help them with their newly launched campaign to battle loneliness in the region through a friendship helpline.
Tolu said: “I very much enjoyed my time working with and building funds for Age UK Northumberland and wanted to help more people in the same demographic as they connected well with Dead Lions Don’t Roar. There is a synergy between my motivational message and the work that Equal Arts does. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the hensioners on the workshops that allowed them to find their own poet or author inside!”
Tolu has also just launched his latest new book, a series of short essays titled Unravel Your Hidden Gems. He has dedicated to raise funds through this book to help children and families of the region associated with the Sunshine Fund.
Equal Arts is a leading creative ageing charity supporting older people and those living with dementia in Gateshead, Newcastle and across the UK. More information is available at www.equalarts.org.uk
Both books are available for sale on Amazon or by visiting Tolu’s website www.tolutoludo.com.