Wigan and Leigh Schools Poetry Competition

The Brick has launched a poetry competition for local schools, to raise awareness of poverty and homelessness, affecting people during the pandemic.

Following the success of ‘A Soul Like Yours’ Campaign, with the poem written by local poet Matt Kelly and narrated by TV star Johnny Vegas, we are now rolling out the campaign to schools, in a mission to involve local children and to find some budding young poets.

Poet, Matt Kelly, said: “It’s an honour to be part of the schools poetry competition to help raise awareness of the struggles that some people in our society face. We know that poverty and homelessness are really important issues for our young people and we can’t wait to see the powerful poems that they will create as part of this competition.  I hope that their words will inspire their family and friends to take part in the Big Garden Sleep to raise vital funds for those most in need.

Jane Webb, Marketing & Fundraising Coordinator, from The Brick, said: “During the pandemic, we have seen an increase in demand for emergency food parcels from families and a 37% increase in food parcels for children. 

“We want to involve children of all ages in this poetry competition, as we believe that it is important to raise awareness of poverty and homelessness at an early age, and by asking children to write their own poems, based on their own experiences and feelings, will really bring to life an issue that is affecting so many in our community right now.

“With our second Big Back Garden Sleep, taking place on 27 March, families will be coming together, once again, to sleep outside and raise money for The Brick to help us to continue to support people and families in crisis. 

“To encourage children to join our competition our first prize is a festival camping kit for secondary schools and a party teepee for primary schools. The winners will then have a tent and equipment, ready to sleep in their gardens in March.”

The poetry competition opens on the 10 February and closes on 17 March and is open to primary, secondary schools and colleges in Wigan and Leigh.

The winning poem will be narrated and recorded by poet Matt Kelly.

Dates and Next Steps

Competition opens – 10th February
Deadline to submit poems – 17th March

  • Email Cathy at cathy@icepr.co.uk know of your intention to participate and join the competition with details of the year group participating
  • Each school to select their top three poems to send to The Brick, by 17th March
  • The Brick judging panel will select the top 3 Primary and top 3 Secondary School / college poems.
  • The 6 poems will either be read and recorded by the children who wrote them, the teachers, or Brick staff/volunteers.
  • The poems will be shared on The Brick’s social media channels.
  • The Brick judging panel will then select an overall winner and a runner up.
  • The winning poems will be narrated by poet Matt Kelly and will be shared on The Brick social media channels and potentially in the press


Here are our shortlisted poems

[/vc_column][/vc_row]Alex’s Poem ‘My Life’s Scars’ – Aspull Primary School

[/vc_column][/vc_row]Emily ‘I Wish’ – Marus Bridge Primary School

[/vc_column][/vc_row]Erin ‘Who Will Be my Hero?’ – St Thomas Golborne

[/vc_column][/vc_row]Elise ‘Lying On A Doorstep’ – St John Fisher Catholic High School

[/vc_column][/vc_row]April ‘A New Day Begins’ The Deanery CE High School

[/vc_column][/vc_row]Elisha ‘Real Life’ – St John Rigby College