THE WINNERS of a poetry competition exploring childhood experiences of the covid-19 pandemic have been announced.

Poet Sheena Hussain appealed for 5-18 year olds to send in their responses for the Covid-19 Poetry Competition.

The competition aimed to get children's minds engaged and in a creative zone to combat negative effects of lockdown.

Sheena described feeling "overjoyed" by the number of entries she received

She told the T&A: "As a poet myself, I believe it is vital to give children a space to create their own narratives especially when things are happening around them which their little minds sometimes cannot comprehend.

"The competition did exactly that and all the entries were such a delight to read. Thank you to all those who entered and affiliated with the competition.

"Thank you to Better Communities Bradford, Manager Abbas Najib and BRI’s ENT surgeon Mr Chris Bem for lending a hand and believing that this project was worth pursuing."

Amelia Riaz, 7, won the 5-7 category with her poem 'Lockdown', exploring her parents being key workers and the fears she felt.

Salma Trivedi, 10, won the 8-10 category with a spiritual poem called 'Lockdown 2020'.

Entering all the way from West Cumbria was 12-year-old Troy Lokota Atherton who won the 11-13 category with 'School’s Out'.

Madiya Jahangir, 15, Bradford won the 14-16 category with 'Where is the Hope?'. It explored feelings of negativity throughout the virus crisis,

In a message for those who did not win, Sheena has reassured young writers that their poems could be used for a full anthology of poetry by the youth.

She would particularly like to hear from writers from BAME backgrounds.

The winner's poems are set to be read at the hospital once it is safe however anyone can read the poems on Sheena's website,

Sheena is also continuing her independent poetry competition, known as Poem:99, until October 31, 2020.

Young writers up to the age of 16 are invited to respond to the theme of 'blessings'.

Writing on her blog after the competition, Sheena said: "Many during the pandemic have turned to creative writing more than ever before to help cope with the stresses of Covid:19. In fact both my poetry competitions Poem:99 and Covid:19 were rolled out precisely for this reason to keep the youth occupied and mentally stimulated during these testing times. I truly believe it is the new medical cure to life’s many woes and understanding of the multi-facet and often complex world that we live in."