Write Out Loud’s Beyond the Storm poetry competition raises £7,000 for NHS Charities Together's Covid-19 appeal

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Our heartfelt thanks to all those who have entered Write Out Loud’s Beyond the Storm poetry competition to raise funds for NHS Charities Together’s Covid-19 Urgent Appeal. At the competition’s deadline moment of 11.59pm on Friday 19 June, your generosity meant that we had notched up a marvellous £7,000-plus - £2,000 of that in the final two days - and we’re not done yet! For instance, if you’ve missed the deadline but would still like to donate, you can do so here

Well over 1,100 people have entered our competition, submitting more than 2,300 entries. The total money raised so far will fund grants to help NHS charities support NHS staff, volunteers and patients in ways above and beyond what NHS funding can ordinarily provide, including wellbeing packs and costs associated with travel, parking, accommodation and volunteer expenses.

The first grants have been used to meet the immediate and urgent needs of patients, staff and volunteers – providing somewhere comfortable so staff and volunteers can take a break, access to nutritious food and drink, use of electronic tablets so patients, staff and volunteers can stay in contact with loved ones, and counselling support to protect mental health and help staff and volunteers process what they are dealing with.

embedded image from entry 101965 As the competition judging process gets into gear, watch out for news of YOUR involvement in the next stage. We will be inviting you to take part in a People’s Vote for a special award alongside our award-winning competition judge Andrew McMillan’s choices. That will take place from 25 July to 7 August, with all the winners and awards announced on 8 August.   

Andrew, pictured right, will be supported by BBC actors from Casualty, pictured below, who will recite shortlisted entries on video for a special ‘People’s Vote’ category alongside the competition winners. We’re aiming to raise more funds for the NHS appeal by encouraging people to donate when they vote.

The inclusion of a popular vote may come as a surprise, but Andrew McMillan said: “I want this to bring in serious, considered poetry, but also to have a broader, public appeal, to boost donations at this most critical time in NHS history.”


Write Out Loud is grateful for the support of BBC Casualty producer Dafydd Llewellyn and those actors, all poetry lovers, who are backing our competition to raise funds for the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal.

embedded image from entry 101962 Gabriella Leon, pictured right, who plays Jade Lovell in the drama, is a deaf actor/writer and deviser seeking to change attitudes and misconceptions in the industry around disabilities, visible and invisible. She loves writing and reading poetry, especially the work of Sylvia Plath and Rupi Kaur. She said: "As part of this competition we will be reading some of the winning and commended poems on video, on the Write Out Loud website."

embedded image from entry 101961 Work by London-born Olivia D'Lima, pictured left, in theatre, film and TV has also led her to writing, which she finds to be an incredible creative outlet and way of creating more work within the industry. She co-founded 'PLUG IN', a bi-monthly comedy night where female and non-binary stand-ups, actors and poets can perform.

embedded image from entry 101963 Glasgow-born Kirsty Mitchell, pictured right, who plays Faith Cadogan, has a wealth of experience and awards as an actor, singer and vocal performer for video games. Her breakthrough acting performance was as Robert Duvall’s daughter in Shot at Glory (2000). She said: “We need your help, we need you to send in your poems, written about the time we are living in right now and what the future holds, and what the outcome might be. We need you to make a donation, [the NHS] is going through the toughest time it has ever seen.”






◄ Simon Armitage in Washington DC, 2015

'I wanted a real live reacting audience ... live streaming isn't the same thing at all. But now I've been converted to the potential of online gigs' ►


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