Young people in care show their creativity

Young people in care across the country have shown their creative talent as part of an LJMU contest.

The competition was launched in celebration of National Care Leavers Week, with young people in local authority or adoptive care invited to submit a song, poem, short story or piece of artwork.

LJMU’s Outreach team received a fantastic response to the contest, with an incredibly high level of entries.

The entries were judged by LJMU’s Widening Participation Lead, Catherine Shillito, LJMU’s Care Leavers Co-ordinator, Phil Bakstad and Programme Leader for Creative Writing, Sarah Maclennan.

The winning entry came from 14 year old, Kia Keats, who attends The Heath School in Runcorn.  

Her poem ‘The day I came’ spoke of Kia’s life and the memories created with her foster family of seven years.

Kia proudly commented: “I really enjoyed writing the poem and felt even better that I won! Thank you." Kia’s foster mother said: “We felt so proud of Kia writing her poem and being able to put her feelings down on paper in such a lovely way.”

Outreach were also pleased to announce joint runners up in Year 7 The Grange Academy pupil, Taila Roberts and Year 9 St Michael’s Church of England pupil, John Webster.

Each of the winners received a voucher and a certificate and had their entries shared through the National Care Leavers Network, NNECL.


The Day I Came by Kia Keats

The day I arrived here

I’d been on earth seven years

I didn’t think they’d listen

But was wrong they are all ears


The house was unfamiliar

It was just like a castle

I made myself at home

Dad fixing the bed I hassled


Starting school and settling in

Memories where made

Enjoying our holiday

Lakegarda is where we stayed


Summer, Bobbi, Lola, Beth

Mum, dad, kaytie, molly

My family that I love

And don’t forget yours truly


I had my braces fitted

Teeth like nanny McPhee

They have now grown stronger

Like it was all meant to be      


The Best Cure? by John Webster 

Through the Summer and through the Spring,  

came a virus more powerful than a king.  


But as lockdown came, things were never the same.  

But a family didn't give up hope,  

to give in during the virus they said "nope".  


Because they knew that the doctors were working hard too.  

Somewhere out of the blue,  

one of the family had an idea just like you.  


"Why don't we watch some movies?"  

"or even make fresh fruit smoothies?"  

"and if things start dimming,  

we should fill the gap with some swimming!"  

They had ideas by the load  

and the influx never slowed.  


As the schools started to open,  

the charts of bored children started sloping.  


This mayhem will carry on until 

 humanity finds a suitable pill  

or the world stands still! 


For now, the best cure is... 



Our New Deck by Taila Grace Roberts

Dark green,

Nice and clean,

Brand new decking for our queen,

Hard and heavy,

Made with wood,

Perfectly steady there it stood.


Raised from the ground,

Steps take us up,

To our wonderland,

Wow what luck,

Bushes on the ground,

Trees all around,

Birds on the branches singing out loud.


Summer graduation 2024


Madeleine celebrates taking every opportunity at LJMU


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