I don’t think there’s a community in the world that hasn’t been affected by COVID-19 in some way. And certainly not in the UK. But if there’s one thing that communities in the north of England are good at, it’s pulling together and helping each other through.
Ever since I was commissioned to write the ‘Remarkable Lives’ poem for Academies Enterprise Trust, I’ve travelled all around England visiting their schools and delivering poetry sessions. From special schools in Cheltenham, to primary schools in my native Yorkshire, to secondary schools on the Isle of Wight and schools all over London.
During that time, I’ve made some brilliant relationships, and North Ormesby Primary Academy in Middlesbrough is one of them.
I visited NOPA to deliver a poetry session at the end of February: less than a month before the UK went into lockdown. Even at that point, it was utterly unimaginable. So, when their head Craig Nicholson commissioned me to write a poem for their COVID-19 mural, I was over the moon.
You can see it in all its glory below. It’s wonderful to see that NOPA have been such a pillar for their local community and I want wait to be back there once we’re over this!