First Prize in National Poetry Comp for Sian
Sian Bell (17), a Sixth Form Student at Blessed William Howard Catholic High School won 1st place in her age group in the NSPC4Peace National School Poetry Competition.
As part of her prize, her poem will be set to music and will feature on singer-songwriter, Tally Koren’s, new album along with the two other winning entries from different age categories. Maya Walker – Wilshere Dacre Junior School Academy (Hitchin) in the 7 -12yrs category and Jessica Clay – Shenley Brook End School (Milton Keynes) in the 12 -15yrs category.
The competition was part of the "Vision of Hope" initiative pioneered by Tally Koren, to inspire young people to become involved in the peace process. Hundreds of poems with the theme of Peace were submitted to the competition and were judged by the renowned singer-songwriter Katie Melua, Don Black and the Chairman of The Blake Society Tim Heath as well as Tally Koren.
On Monday 20th November, at the prestigious House of Lords building, an official ceremony took place where Tally presented the prize winners with awards for their winning poems. The NSPC4PEACE was also supported at this event by the Three Faiths Forum (3FF), a charity that has worked to build good relations between people of different faiths and beliefs.
As well as formally recognising the competition winners, the ‘Vision of Hope’ event celebrated the diversity of its attendees representing different cultures, faiths and backgrounds. A strong message of hope was received from inspiring speeches made by leading spiritual speakers, including the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, Rabbi David Rosen CBE, Imam Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, Baroness Blood and Lord Robin Eames OM who hosted the event.
From L to R - Archbishop of York, Imam Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, Singer Songwriter Tally Koren, DR Rabbi David Rosen OBE
‘I believe that every child has a hidden poem inside. The purity and innocence of a child’s emotions is a way to touch and change the hearts of people to create a better future. I want to encourage young people to use their imagination, creativity and emotion to inspire all of us.’ Commented Koren.
In the past, Tally hosted a concert entitled Music For Peace’ in the Middle East, where Palestinians and Israelis performed on the same stage and, for that, she received a prestigious ‘Ambassador For Peace’ Award at the House Of Commons.
List of winners
Age 7 – 12 Category
1st Place: Maya Walker – Wilshere Dacre Junior School (Hitchin)
2nd Place: Billie Lewis – Sydney Russell School (Dagenham)
3rd Place: Erhus Digbam – Sacred Heart
12 – 15 Category Winners
1st Place: Jessica Clay – Shenley Brook End School (Milton Keynes)
2nd Place: Charlotte Ambrose – Edgbarrow School (Crowthorne)
3rd Place: Ella De Nunzio – Derby High School
15 – 18 Category Winners
1st Place: Sian Bell – Blessed William Howard Catholic High School (Stafford)
2nd Place: Charlotte Lee – South Cheshire College
3rd Place: Tito Molokwu – Queen Elizabeth’s Girls School (Barnet)