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Poetry is good for the soul - Sheffield’s Children in Care Council launch a book of poems

Photo of The Can in Can't book

Sheffield’s Children in Care Council launch a book of poems

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

This is a short extract from one of our young people’s poems which is included in the book The Can in Can’t. The book, which launches on November 12, includes over 90 poems from our Children in Care Council who have worked 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 in the first lockdown to help them write the book. The book will launch this week with a black tie zoom event.

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

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for children and families at Sheffield City Council, said:

“I love these poems, they are wonderful - they moved me, made me smile, made me think and brought a tear to my eye . They also provide a real insight into what it feels like to be a child or young person in care.

"Wow, Congratulations and well done to all our Children and Young people involved in this great achievement- they are all Stars!

"Many thanks too to Nik, Dominic and Vicky who encouraged and supported our children and young people to engage their imaginations and confidence to write these poems and published this fantastic book."

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 am definitely going to keep writing and spread the magic. Big yourself up!”

Alongside the book our young people have created a podcast for the Off The Shelf Festival.

To order your copy of the book e mail