HOLLY Snowdon has won the young persons’ category of a British Red Cross creative writing competition with a poem dedicated to her late father.
Commonweal School pupil Holly, 14, was successful in the charity’s Day of the Disappeared challenge. Her father Richard died of liver disease in January 2012 and Holly wrote the poem, When You Are Found, I Am Found, partially about him.
She said: “For inspiration I looked at the poems and stories from last year’s competition and did some research on the internet to find quotes about people who were searching for loved ones.
“I was thinking of someone roughly my age and I was mostly thinking of her having lost someone.
“ A few years ago I actually lost my dad so I was thinking of someone who had lost someone, but just wanted to give her a bit of hope to see them again.”
“I was jumping for joy when I heard I’d won. It was quite a surprise. I feel honoured because I didn’t think my poem would do very well and it’s quite rewarding. It’s good to know that writing it will help the Red Cross in its work.”
The writing competition coincided with the charity’s International Day of the Disappeared, commemorating those people who have died and gone missing in conflicts.
As part of her prize, Holly was given a £100 Amazon gift voucher and her poem will appear on the Red Cross website and as part of the international day.
Karen King, Holly’s mum, said: “I think the poem is amazing and when I read it I was very impressed. Holly was rather shocked to have won and was absolutely over the moon.”
Last year, the British Red Cross took on almost 1,000 new international family tracing cases and helped 144 people find their relatives.
The main conflicts that separated these families were batttles in Afghanistan, Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria and during the Second World War.
Emily Knox, from the Red Cross, said: “I’d like to pass on huge congratulations to Holly for her winning poem.
“This competition offers a great way of encouraging people to actively engage with the spirit of the International Day of the Disappeared, and show support for those whose loved ones are missing as a result of armed conflict and other disasters.”
l For more information about the charity’s work visit redcross.org.uk.