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Looked after children produce poetry during lockdown

Dear Society,

Listen up, listen up,
We are who we are, don’t try and change us into perfect people
I am not afraid of who I am
I am not afraid of your judgement
I am as clever as everyone else
I am not distraction in class, I am a learner with aspirations and goals
I will break the mould my family couldn’t
I am love
I am dreams
I am hope
I am not your stereotype

The Can in Can’t book of poems produced by Sheffield Council’s Children in Care Council is available now.

The abstract above is one of more than 90 poems featured in the book produced by the Children in Care Council in conjunction with author and Sheffield Writer in Residence Nik Perring, Rapper and Facilitator Dominic Heslop and Vicky Morris from The Hive over the last few months.

The group of 13-18 year olds, who have all experienced the care system, met online with Nik, Dominic and Vicky every week during the first lockdown to help them write the book, which launched with a black tie Zoom event last week.

A printed copy of the book is being sent to every looked after child and care leaver in Sheffield, and the poems will be displayed on the shop fronts on Pinstone Street.

Joe, aged 16, said: “I have absolutely loved this project. When we started out, I didn’t think I would be able to write anything. Now I am a published author, have spoken on the radio, made a podcast and also delivered a writing workshop last week with other looked after young people. I’ve loved it. I feel more confident and I am definitely going to keep writing and spread the magic. Big yourself up!”

To order your copy of the book, email clare.holdsworth@sheffield.gov.uk

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