Our Progress Activities Co-ordinator, Danni, recently organised our first-ever poetry competition for independent living tenants. 

The poems had to have been written during the pandemic or were about the pandemic.

Two winners were chosen, Joyce, with her poem Pray, and an anonymous tenant, with a poem alled Our Chippy, who each won £10 Tesco vouchers.

Thank you to those who submitted their poems. We really enjoyed reading the entries and were blown away by the talent of our tenants.

Joyce was delighted when we told her she had won and she was even more thrilled when she was invited to read her winning poem out on the local community radio station, Radio Leyland.

Joyce was inspired by the pandemic, which left her feeling worried and isolated, and so she submitted several poems based on the topic.

She says: "I felt great when I found out I had won the competition. It was lovely being on the radio – I was really chuffed. It was pre-recorded, and so I was nervous about listening to it when it went on air."

Joyce, who is in her 70s, adds she has been writing poems throughout her adult life, and she has a collection of more than 100 all kept safe in a folder. Her poems have been published in church magazines, as well as anthologies about nature.

She says: "I like writing about everything. I can find inspiration anywhere but I do like nature and theology. I am also influenced by modern date poetry within pop music especially the lyrics sung by Michael Bolton, David Coverdale and Amy Winehouse.

My personality comes out as I express my thoughts and feelings. I see writing as a gift. It is very therapeutic."

And here is her winning poem:


Pray by Joyce

Pray the virus away

To never come back another day

No more not seeing families

Or going to their houses


No more separation

From loved ones

From visiting them at home

Having hols

Seeing places


Sharing lives together

Hugs and all that

Trying to help

In times of trouble or not


This was also our winner:


Our Chippy – by an anonymous poet

(read in your best Lancashire accent)

Our chippy stands ont corner

Just like all good chippys do

And if you want the best chips in Preston

Then this is place for you


It's a bit scruffy like and old fashioned

And there's no currie or out like that

But their chips are done to perfection

And the fish are reet big and fat

Thas never seen cod like em

Honest I'm not telling a tale

Thas never had battered fish like it

There big as a bloody great whale


The steak puddings are out of this world

And the peas are all mushy and green

And the haddock is a real work of art

The meat pies are a gourmets dream


It's a reet good place is our chippy

Especially on a Saturday neet

When thas as eight or nine pints of best bitter

And a bit wobbly like on your feet


Thy can lean ont counter contemplating

Whether to ave portion of chips and a pie

Or a fish done in crisps golden batter

While tha watching the big begger fry


It's best place in town is our chippy

And it's reet good value I've found

Where else can you get a meal of distinction

And still get change from a pound


I said it should be in the good food guide

Cos the grub to me is unique

And if it was up to me at our house

We'd ave fish and chips every neet


You can keep your steaks done in red wine

And fancy cheeses like Edam and Bree

You can have your prawn cocktails and pate

It's fish chips and peas for me


You can eat at all the best restaurants

You can go where ever you wish

But youl not beat our chippy on't corner

For pies steak puddings or fish


Now I know you don't believe what I'm saying

Cos no one listens to me

So you best come up one Saturday

And try em for yourself and see