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The power of poetry to pacify a pandemic!

The power of poetry to pacify a pandemic!

Darlington Rotary has come up with an innovative literacy project to raise funds for the town’s Covid-hit charities.

Amateur poets of all ages are being urged to take part in a poetry competition aimed at raising funds for charity.

The competition is being run by Darlington Rotary and is open to all comers in three age groups.

The theme is ‘My Favourite Things’ and those judged to be the best ten in each age category will be published in a booklet which will be sold with the proceeds going into Rotary’s charity fund.

Peotry organiser Sue Campbell

The organiser is Rotary member Sue Campbell, who said: “It’s a wide ranging theme to enable as many people as possible to enter – from school children to those who have been writing poetry all their lives.

“There’s no entrance fee and the poems can be any type – from limericks to serious verse – and any length, as long as they’re not an odyssey.

“And they can be about everything from people to places, pastimes to possessions, pets to pubs. Just as long as they are original and clean.”


For more than 10 years, Richmond Rotary in North Yorkshire has organised a Best Kept Village award. However, last year the pandemic prevented it happening.

This year, and with the easing of lockdown restrictions, the club has announced the competition will go ahead in July.

The Rotary club has already written to parish councils inviting them to nominate contestants.

In 2019, 17 villages took part and the overall standard was judged to be the highest ever. Moulton was the winning village

Current Club President, Warnock Kerr, said: “Richmond Rotary Club is very pleased about the contribution that the Best Kept Village contest has made to our local environment over many years.

“There is every reason to be proud of the area where we live and our beautiful villages well deserve the recognition that Rotary gives them through this annual competition.”

Richmond Rotary Club is very pleased about the contribution that the Best Kept Village contest has made to our local environment over many years.”

For over 40 years the Saffron Walden Rotary in Essex has held mock interviews for students from local schools. This year, Covid restrictions meant the usual face-to-face interviews had to be cancelled.

Instead, the club organised CV reviews for more than 240 Year 12 students from Saffron Walden County High School.

Rotarian, Geoff Etherington, said: “We know how invaluable a good CV is in starting a career.

“As an alternative to interviews students prepared their CVs, which were then reviewed by a team of Rotarians and local business volunteers.”

Students will be put through their paces with an online video interview later on in the school year.