The Salford Poetry Competition aims to spread Christmas joy by nominating members of the Salford community to receive a bar of chocolate.
The 25 winners of last night’s Salford Christmas Covid-19 online poetry competition win a tub of sweets for themselves, as well as nominate someone to receive a big bar of chocolate.
Organiser of the event, Keri Muldoon, said: “The winners get to nominate someone special who made them feel happy throughout the year.
“It makes them think about the good in the world, because they not only get to open and get to keep their sweets and chocolates, but they have to think who has cheered them up, and celebrate that.”
Lyndsey Rowe-Gidley, one of the winners, said: “I’ve worked with Jenny Berry before, and she inspired me to write a poem about my dyslexia.
“People don’t think I’m dyslexic because of what I write, but now it has become the way I express myself.
“It was so nice hearing everybody’s poems, we all felt so supported.”
Listen here to Lyndsey’s poem about her experience with homeless: ‘This Is Not’:
You can listen to more from Lyndsey here
Lyndsey continued: “Last night there was a 10-year-old girl who read her poem out and it was so cute, she ended up nominating her nana and grandad because her grandad had cancer, and I was nearly in tears.
“I decided to nominate my nephew because he is a real sweet lad, and every time I see him he makes me so happy, but I haven’t been able to see him much due to the pandemic.
“Sometimes I think he feels left out, so I wanted to show him that I appreciate him.”
Hema Hindocha also attended yesterday evening’s event, she said: “What made it good was that everyone had a different type of poem, and they all came from the heart.
“I nominated my daughter because she helped me so much throughout the first initial lockdown, my family are from down south, so it is just me and my little daughter.
“She brought my spirits up on days where I was down and didn’t want to do anything.
“She was an absolute superstar and it was so good having her as my support.”
The group got funding from Forever Manchester to run events for the Salford community.
Keri said: “Everything stopped in March because of Covid, so we had to cancel all the events and then there was nothing for the children to do.
“Previously we have done a drawing competition for under 10s, which worked really well and had the same idea.
“The drawing competition prize was an elf of the shelf, so we changed the prize and the competition, because I thought that poetry was a harder challenge for the older group.”
With help from Jenny Berry, the group is sending the poems to the Lowry exhibition, so that they can be displayed there.
Keri said: “Everyone was thrilled by this, not only do we get to go round and drop off little prizes on their doorsteps, but they get to make the people they nominated smile, and even get the chance to have their work showcased at the Lowry.”