A remarkable young writer’s poem about her father’s death and much more has won a prize in a competition.
Molly Akers, 18, of Lower Earley, won the 12-18 section of the competition to write about positive experiences of life in lockdown.
Despite her loss, Molly, a student at The Piggott School, Wargrave, achieved the competition’s aim to great effect.
The young reporter contest was run by the virtual Hurst Show and Country Fayre.
Molly’s father Mac Akers, a former headteacher at South Lake Primary School, Woodley, died on May 9.
He had been ill with dementia for some time.
“The poem is about my Dad, but also about the things you learn from hardship and about the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Molly.
“Through the pandemic people have complained about not going out and socialising. You do miss people and it makes you realise how much you miss giving them a cuddle.
“But there have been positives brought to life, like reduced pollution due to less road use.
“In our family we have a group Zoom call every Sunday so now we talk to them more than we did before.
“There’s a message in my writing and it also helps me figure things out.” She hoped her writing would help others.
She added: “There is a lot of strength in pain, a lot of things to gain from it.
“It has set me up for life now and means I appreciate things I would not have done before.”
She said her father, who wrote children’s poetry books, would be proud of her success.
She praised The Piggott School teachers for their support and said she wants to study international business with maths at Leeds.
Molly went to Robert Piggott Infant and Junior Schools at Wargrave.
Her mother Sally Ann Akers has recently resigned as executive head of Robert Piggott Infant and Junior Schools Federation.
She was to take early retirement last summer to look after her husband but agreed to stay on for two days a week.
Organiser of the young reporter competition, Sophie Vyse, praised the winners’ work: “Reading their pieces was inspirational and they made me laugh as well as cry,” she said.
The contest judge was local journalist Sue Corcoran.
The primary section winners were: juniors, Sophie Randles, 10, and infants, Will Randles, seven, who go to St Nicholas School, Hurst.
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Absence of you
Close your doors and stay inside
this is going to be one rollercoaster of ride
To do as they were told was not the easiest thing
But it made them realise together they had everything
They laughed and cried and witnessed such great loss,
Tears and heartache, to them so much it cost
Isolation, not everyone made it through
But just by chance you do
And so, you should be grateful
But for those who didn’t it does come true
That with great loss, you lose a bit of you too.
Yet the absence of you helped more than you thought
For when you look out of the window you knew
That the absence of you meant the world grew and grew
Into something more beautiful, for me and for you
And so, I am grateful and you should be too
That now we can open our doors and the world is grown
We learnt how to tackle anything on our own
And so, we sing and laugh and cuddle again
but we will never forget the rain
for that rollercoaster ride didn’t always feel sane
but looking through the pane in your window frame
something told you, you will never look at the world the same.
By Molly Akers, 18
Will enjoyed a Lego challenge
I liked having more time at home and I have been doing a Lego challenge, I really enjoyed it.
We have been doing Joe Wicks but we slightly forgot about it.
Then a couple of weeks later we came back and it had finished.
At the Hurst Show the hobby horses were spectacular also the cars were brilliant and it went surprisingly well.
I have really missed my friends.
By Will Randles, seven
Good things have come out of lockdown
Lockdown has presented us with lots of challenges, but some good things have come out of it, like realising how much we need our friends.
When everything goes back to normal I think we will appreciate our friends much more.
Home schooling has allowed us to enjoy more time at home as well as showing us all we need professional teachers! 🙂
Although I have missed clubs such as netball and swimming, hopefully they can start up again soon.
The virtual Hurst Show was a great weekend.
It was lots of fun although the weather wasn’t on our side for the whole weekend.
It was lots of fun and everybody enjoyed it.
There was an ice cream van, a delivery of sweets, book stall, plant stall, art trail, virtual dog show and
a virtual hobby horse competition.
Not forgetting the virtual disco.
In lockdown we have been going on lots of walks around Dinton Pastures and doing lots of online shopping.
My favourite thing about lockdown is not having to get up early in the morning and reading Harry Potter.
I am hoping to have finished all of the books by the end of lockdown!
I have also enjoyed watching the movies.
Lockdown hasn’t really been that bad on the whole!
By Sophie Randles, 10