This week I went to the Cumbria Cultural Awards, a hospice and recognised feeding tube awareness week.
I will start with the Cumbria Cultural awards. I went along to the awards with Kim Moore and Jenny Copley to represent the Kendal Poetry Festival for festival of the year, unfortunately we didn’t win, but we were up against some very stiff competition. In the end the comic arts festival won – and they are such worthy winners. The amount of events and prestigious artists they attract is incredible, and the atmosphere during the weekend is always amazing. I’m not going to say Kim and I weren’t a little disappointed, but all the festivals could have won for different reasons because they were so diverse.
At the weekend I went and looked around a hospice. Hospices are perceived as places that people go to die, however, this was a children’s and young people’s hospice. While they offer their services to people who are passing away, they also offer respite to families that have children with life limiting or life threatening conditions. I don’t know if I have a place yet, but oh my goodness it was an amazing place. There was minimal medicalisation – it was quite incredible how functional but hidden that side of things was. There were hospital beds in every room, but discreet call bells, bed sides and alterations in the bathroom. The rooms were huge, had lovely countryside views and looked really homely and comfortable. There was also a sensory room with a home cinema in it and a huge space dedicated to craft and having fun. They were talking about days out we could possibly do and things we could go and see. What an incredible place it was. Hospices, especially children’s and young peoples hospices, are not only places for the dying, they are very much for the living.
This week is also feeding tube awareness week. I didn’t know what a feeding tube was before I became unwell. It’s something that never crosses your mind because you can go to the tap and drink the water that flows from it. You can reach into your cupboard and eat the chocolate bar hidden at the back of it. You can meet up and go to the pub for the night. Things I didn’t think would change did change, and that could happen to anyone. I also kind of like the fact that it is feeding tube awareness week in the same week of my nineteenth birthday. On Sunday I can celebrate not only my birthday, but the tube that has seen me through (and I’m not being dramatic) and kept me alive to see this next milestone.
This week, I have been chatting to some of the girls who I went to school with. I suggested that we publish a song we worked on together. I wrote the lyrics to this song two years ago. These words won my first ever poetry competition. “Young Protest Songwriter” from Amnesty International. Last year Georgie and Sophie took on these lyrics and wrote a song to them. The result was a powerful song I would encourage you strongly to share and connect with, given the state of our world at the moment. The song talks about not being allowed to remain in, or go to a country. Listen, take it in and please share.
The link is here: https://soundcloud.com/hannah-hodgson-84290911/nowhere-citizen