In August Richard Holden, MP for North West Durham put out his first writing competition for local children. He invited them to write a story about what they did over the summer.

Mr Holden enjoyed reading dozens of strong entries and was delighted to visit Laney at Stanley Crook Primary School to hand out the winning prize.

The rules were simple, it was a short story competition, no more than 300 words, open to children under the age of 11 years, who live or attend a school in North West Durham and though they could write about anywhere, the story needed to mention their constituency in some way.

The deadline for submission was the last week of September and by then Mr Holden had already received dozens of entries from all across North West Durham. Greatly enjoying reading through each piece, from stories about trips to Scotland to visit our local heritage sites, it showed that despite the pandemic local children were able to make the most of their summer and have come back to school excited, happy to find their friends and be in the classroom again.

The success of the vaccine roll-out, due to the hard work of key workers and the Army, has meant that children are now able to be back in school safely. Mr Holden was pleased to see how gladly they took to their writing and hopes this has helped local children get back into the spirit of learning.

Commenting Richard Holden, MP for North West Durham said:

“Our children and young people have had a tough couple of years. As this can-do Government gets on with the job, it is clear they have a can-do spirit to get on with their education.

“With the rules relaxed at the start the summer, I was pleased to read how so many children made the most of their time, whether that was enjoying the local area with their friends or camping in Scotland with their family. They were all good stories but Laney had really delved into the detail about our local area and spending time with her friends, which I thought was fantastic. In truth, all the entries were superb and I was just overwhelmed with the great local response.”

“Shortly, I’ll be reaching out for young people to get involved in my annual Christmas Card competition. That’ll be another great opportunity for young people to get involved.”

Commenting David Christie, Headteacher at Stanley Crook Primary School, said:

“It was fantastic to take part in Richard Holden MP’s short story competition this year and all the children thoroughly enjoyed it.

“It was particularly great that one of our children won this year and good to have Richard visit the school to meet the children today. Good English skills are such an important part of the development of our children and having them writing for purpose, as part of the competition, was a fantastic opportunity for them to further enhance their learning.”


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