Countdown to the People's Vote! Your chance to take part in the closing stage of Write Out Loud's poetry competition

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It’s the next stage in Write Out Loud’s Beyond the Storm poetry competition - for poems about the coronavirus lockdown and beyond – as the countdown to the People’s Vote begins. Poets have already been so generous in helping us raise over £7,000 towards our £10,000 fundraising target to help the NHS Charities Together’s Covid-19 Urgent Appeal. Now we’re asking you to go another mile – just as so many workers in the NHS have already done, so many times – and donate again as you take part in the People’s Vote.

Comments received on our fundraising page so far have included as “Great competition - best of luck with it!” … “I'm always willing to help the NHS - this is a good way to do it” … “We cannot praise the NHS enough. In our family alone, it has saved lives over and over.”

You can find out in detail about the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal here. Its 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. In the longer term it will also fund programmes to help staff and volunteers recover fully once the crisis has abated, reducing the long-term impact on them and the people they care about.

Now actors from BBC’s Casualty - Kirsty Mitchell, Gabriella Leon and Olivia D’Lima  - and from the ALRA North drama school which supports spoken word and performance poetry  - Noah Olaoye, Rhiannon Clements, and Jacob Butler - will be showcasing judge Andrew McMillan’s top picks for you to vote on, beginning on 25 July until 7 August. It’s the chance for you to vote for a special People’s Award alongside Andrew’s choices. After the People’s Vote is complete we will announce all the competition winners.

We thank all the established and emerging actors - Kirsty, Gabriella, Olivia, Noah, Rhiannon, and Jacob – for helping us with our People’s Vote during this precarious time for theatre.

Why have a People’s Vote, as well as a judge’s verdict? Andrew himself supports the idea, saying: “I want this [competition] 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.”

So watch out for our People’s Vote videos of actors performing selected poems, coming soon, please get involved, and seize the chance when you vote to donate a little bit more to NHS Charities Together, to help us reach our £10,000 target and beyond.

There’s a further chance to help the fundraising appeal – by ordering a copy of our Beyond The Storm anthology of 100 longlisted poems. You can pre-order a copy here, now

 

COMPETITION LOGO BY OSCAR JORDON

 

 

◄ People's Vote videos: we talk to Noah, Rhiannon and Jacob from ALRA North

People's Vote videos: we talk to Gabriella, Olivia and Kirsty from BBC's Casualty ►

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