2020 has been a year like no other. With the coronavirus pandemic bringing uncertainty and lockdowns, the racial unrest in the United States highlighting continued injustice, and the climate crisis affecting many parts of the world, most people will be glad to see the back of the past year.
At Platfform 4YP Swansea Bay, we have heard young people’s thoughts, feelings and opinions on 2020, and seen the effects it has had on young people’s mental health and wellbeing. We believe that young people should have a forum to reflect, express their feelings and connect with others who have been in similar situations over the past 12 months. This is where the idea for ‘Find Your Words’ was born!
‘Find Your Words’ is a poetry competition run by Platfform 4YP in collaboration with The Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea. It is open to any young person in Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot aged 13-16 who wants to get their voice heard!
For our first year, we ask entrants to write a poem that encapsulates the theme ‘Reflections on 2020’. There are many topics that can come under this theme, including:
- COVID-19 and lockdowns.
- Racism and protest.
- Climate change.
- How 2020 has affected people’s mental health.
Now that the competition has finished we wanted to share the winners of the competition.
Dear Customer, in line with government guidelines, we are unable to provide the following non-essential items at this time:
We also regard the following things as unnecessary at this time:
Statues of slave traders
Over promising and under delivering
We would like to reassure our customers that the following items are readily available and there is no need to panic buy:
Thank you for your understanding!
Hopeful, we were at the start of 2020,
The streets were buzzing, the shops weren’t empty,
and every one of us was ready and waiting,
for the long-awaited second round of the roaring twenties.
Unaware, we were at the start of 2020,
Nothing felt unusual or out of place,
That first month of peace and normality,
when we weren’t separated by considerable distance or space.
Reassured, we were at the start of 2020,
When frightening news spread like wildfire of a possible threat,
And as for the government and our leaders,
They proclaimed there was no need to fret.
Anxious, we were in 2020,
With that vicious virus lingering over the horizon,
its sights soon turned to the UK,
no longer part of fiction or the imagination.
Frantic, we were in 2020,
Cupboards were heaving, the supermarkets purged,
Hands were washed and sanitized like clockwork after every encounter,
while dutifully chanting happy birthday as the virus emerged.
Stumped, we were in 2020,
our unappreciated habits and livelihoods put on standby,
by that inevitable yet powerful announcement,
and a new set of laws to abide by.
Though despite this troubling calamity,
this chaos and this drastic change in our lives,
We came together, though it felt from miles apart,
and reached out to each other to survive.
Stronger, we became in 2020.
Hope you have enjoyed reading the three poems and have been inspired to write your own. There was a great turn out for this event so keep a look out for more opportunities like these.