Wigan schoolgirl's pandemic poem is shared around the world

A talented youngster has lifted the spirits of healthcare workers locally and around the world with her poem about the coronavirus pandemic.
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Poppy-Grace Stebbings, 12, loves writing and decided to create a poem as part of a package of items to send to her great-grandmother.

But she had no idea just how popular her prose would prove to be.

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Her proud mum Katie Stebbings, from Aspull, said: “She is a budding writer. She has always had an interest in putting things down. She wants to be an author. She is one of those children who disappears off and does bits of writing. She is always occupied doing things like that.


“With being 12 and all this going on, she is missing her grandparents so much and her friends at school and wanted to write about it.”

Poppy-Grace and her two brothers put together a package to send to their great-grandmother while she is in isolation, which included pictures, a blog and her poem.

Mrs Stebbings said: “Her great-grandma phoned her up in tears and said the poem was beautiful and she should share it.”

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Poppy-Grace’s father posted it on Facebook and the family has received a huge response to the poem.

Mrs Stebbings said: “It has been lovely because we have had messages from people saying it’s brought a tear to their eye. It has been really nice to see the impact it’s had on people.”

Among those reading the poem are staff working on the frontline in the NHS.

Bolton School pupil Poppy-Grace spent time at Royal Bolton Hospital in 2018, after growing up with partial deafness, and was keen for medical staff to read it.

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Mrs Stebbings said: “Wigan Infirmary asked if they could put it up and I think Bolton hospital put it up. A team in ICU in the Philippines have also somehow got hold of it and asked to put it up.”

Poppy-Grace has been “overwhelmed” by the response to her poem.

Mrs Stebbings said: “She wrote it for her great-grandma to raise her spirits and she has been really pleased by the fact it’s managed to reach the hospital staff. She has been glad they have managed to read it and sent some comments saying how much it has lifted their spirits.”

Poppy-Grace is continuing to write during the lockdown. She was inspired by a visit to her school by poet laureate Simon Armitage and could now enter her work into writing competitions.

Poppy-Grace's poem:

Coronavirus, you’ve taken so much,

You’ve hidden our loved ones away from our touch.

You’ve cancelled our plans and our trips away,

We are stuck in our homes, where for now we must stay.

School has been cancelled, our lessons online.

It was exciting at first, but now lost its shine.

We miss our friends and the daily routine,

Chats in the playground and jokes in the canteen.

But we will do it forever, if that’s what it takes,

Because corona has threatened the highest of stakes.

We will stay inside and follow the rules.

We will draw rainbows, bake cakes and do some home school.

We really don’t care that life is on hold,

As when this is all over, our family we’ll hold.

When lockdown is lifted and we’re allowed out,

We’ll appreciate our freedom - without a doubt.

We’ll be proud of the time, the world went to sleep,

To keep loved ones safe, until then hugs will keep.

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