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Peter Capaldi shares stories written by young care leavers during lockdown

The Scottish actor was once again the frontman of Coram Voice’s Voices creative writing competition, announcing the winners of the annual awards last week

Charity Coram Voice has not let the Covid-19 pandemic stop their annual creative writing competition from showcasing the literary talent of children in care and young care leavers.

The winners of the fifth annual competition were announced last week with star actor and long-standing supporter Peter Capaldi once again hosting the ceremony, albeit this year the awards were streamed on Coram Voice’s YouTube channel.

The online show also provided a platform for the young writers to read their winning pieces after they saw off competition from the 300-plus entries on the theme of ‘dreams’ to scoop prizes across five groups.

The charity also introduced an ‘Experiences of Covid-19’ category in response to the issues face by care-experienced young people during the crisis.

Sophia Hall, Voices 2019 care leaver winner [pictured above with Capald], was guest judge for the ‘Experiences of Covid-19’ category and she said: “You all described your thoughts and feelings and emotions of this difficult time so beautifully, with emotion, creativity and sometimes even a dash of humour. Above all though, we felt this strength and hope and shining through your words.”

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Children’s authors Lauren Child and Abi Elphinstone also ran the rule over the entries alongside poet Mr Gee and rap artist Ric Flo.

Child praised ‘I See You’ by Ryan, aged 10, for its “beautiful rhythm of language” while Mr Gee and Elphinstone were blown away by the “wonderful turns of phrases” from 13-year-old Teoni’s ‘Dreams for Everyone’.

Grandfather’ by Hazel, 15, came out on top in the Upper Secondary category while 24-year-old Leanne’s “fusion of dreams and reality” in “My Dreams Saved Me” saw her come out on top.

Emotional and often-overlooked stories of grappling with the Covid-19 lockdown were also highlighted in the competition. ‘Home Sweet Home’ by Lexi, six, was the Primary winner while 13-year-old Adam’s ‘A Sparrow Told Me’, ‘The Year the World Stood Still’ by Tom, aged 17, and ‘Isolation in Reality’ by Saphron, 21, rounded out the winners.

Capaldi was also impressed with the offerings, which you can read here on the Coram Voice website. The former Doctor said: “I was delighted to host the competition again this year, albeit in a different format than originally anticipated. The competition showcases the passion and talent of resilient young people whose written pieces inspire and help us to better understand the often challenging experiences that they have growing up.”

Brigid Robinson, managing director of Coram Voice, added: “It has been a pleasure to see the competition grow over the past five years and to read the hundreds of remarkable stories, poems and raps that have been shared with us over that time. Thank you and well done to all the children and young people who have entered and made the competition what it is today – you should all be so proud.”

Image: Coram Voice

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