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Beyond Words for World Mental Health Day - October finalists

In the run up to World Mental Health Day (9 October), children, young people and schools took part in a creative wellbeing project to share their story of 2020. We’re excited to announce our October Beyond Words for World Mental Health Day finalists below!

You can see more of the entries we’ve had on our gallery here.

Beyond Words is going to stay open until 30 November. You can submit your work here. We’ve added more awards and will shortlist additional finalists in December*.

We’ve received fantastic creative work from hundreds of schools and young people and we’ve been blown away by the quality of the entries so far.

Each and every submission has made a valuable contribution to three charities who support young people’s mental health – Mind, the National Literacy Trust and Cheltenham Festivals – thank you.

*If you submitted work after 18 October you will be included in the second round of shortlisting in December. We'll be in touch if you have received an award.

October finalists

(Finalists from participants who entered before 18 October 2020)

Congratulations to the following schools who have won £250 worth of books:

  • Kensington Primary School, East London
  • Leicester Grammar School, Leicester
  • St Catherine’s School, Isle of Wight
  • The Grey Coat Hospital CofE School for Girls, Westminster


Congratulations to the following 13 individuals who have won a £40 book token for their outstanding work!

My 2020 by Paris (14-16)


'The language of 2020' by Grace (11-14)

The language of 2020 was kindness
It said “hello” in a wave from across the road
It said “I love you” in a bag of shopping left on a doorstep
It asked “how are you?” in a surprise call on someone’s birthday
It said “miss you” in a ball thrown over a fence
It said “see you soon” in a chalk note written on the pavement

The language of 2020 was love
It said “still here” in a box of flowers delivered from a friend
It said “stand together” in a crumpled BLM placard held by many hands
It said “we’ll get through this” in a pair of smiling eyes above a mask
It said “don’t worry” in a pair of footprints two metres apart
It said “be strong” in a messy rainbow stuck in a window

And when it felt like the language of 2020 was hopelessness and loneliness
The people took over
And roared their love and kindness
Into one continuous noise
The language of 2020 was many different things
But the people were united
And they were the language of my 2020.


Black Lives Matter by Peter (11-14)


'Stormy Skies, Hopeful Eyes' by Aahana (11-14)

Through this mysterious storm,
The wind carrying bundles of frustration,
You and I will transform,
With not one bit of hesitation.

The clouds are getting darker,
We open the window to let in new opportunities,
Whether you use calculators or markers,
And smile to the community.

Each moment you spend,
Gazing as the darkness descends,
Your eyes and heart fill with sorrow,
Looking desperately for a good tomorrow.

But you don’t realize,
If you turn your head to the light,
The clouds will tear apart,
Giving you a clear path.

That little lightning strike,
Lighting up your mind,
Don’t storm away,
Not tomorrow- today.

Every time you feel drawn to the clouds,
The clouds that block your every path,
Turn around to the light you found,
Hidden deep inside the earth.

Despite the storms and rain we face,
We must remember,
Solutions not problems,
Light not dark.

Togetherness through the ways available,
Never discourage, be motivational,
We all matter and have that inner hope,
This is our home.

We are one,
We are united,
It is up to us,
To keep this world and light it.


'Break Us Apart' by Jasmine (11-14)


'Was it all bad?' by Thalia (11-14)

At the beginning of 2020, I had lots of luck!
Then Covid came around and made our lives suck!
I couldn’t go up to my house in Newcastle-upon-Tyne,
It stole my holiday, and I didn’t feel fine,

But was it bad?
I know it was sad.
It made me feel mad,
That home was the only normal thing that I had.

I did lots of cooking and baking,
Reading and writing and story-making.
Of course the government have out new rules,
And also closed all the primary schools,

I know it was a weird experience we had,
But was it all that bad?

We got to finish primary school,
Which was quite cool,
We had 2 weeks to say “goodbye!”
I felt so happy, I was about to cry.

Zooming away, the holidays hurried,
Moving to secondary school, I felt quite worried,
Getting stuff for secondary school was really fun,
Although it was quite stuffy in the heat of the boiling sun!

I really, really missed swimming
I felt that my world was slowly dimming,
I masked my face,
Walked at a steady pace,

Quite a lot of the holidays, well most,
I spent listening to my sister boast,
We watched tv and one day I sighed,
Looking at my secondary school letter that I eyed.

I missed the things that before we had,
But was lockdown all bad?

Soon it will be Christmas, but will it be the same?
Now that Covid-19’s the next star, walking in fame,
We’ve had downs,
We’ve even had a few frowns,
Stay safe, stay at home,
For our own house is our safety dome,

So spread your smile, as it matters the most,
Comment or like that lovely post,
Lockdown’s happy,
Lockdown’s sad,
But we won’t be left with what we had,
We’ll make memories for us to share,
When things are back to being normal and fair!


Black Lives Matter by Raed (11-14)

Judgementation
Shouldn't come by skin or the nation
But by the thoughts inside of our mind
Human race its eyes closed and blind
To radicalism and exploitation of rights
To switch on the light
To see the sight
Exploitation of the right

Equality is what realty should be
Equality isn't a privilege
A right
To defia the right
To kill the people
Aint right

To see this turn on the light
To give the right
To stay blind
Is exploitation of a human mind

Personality to define a person
Humanity doesn't see what they see
They only kill thee
And think it's alright ain't right
That is why we fight


My 2020 by Natali (11-14)

A vast sea of confusion,
A wave as big as life itself,
A painful reality,
A push off a cliff,
For a tide to sweep me out of my comfort zone.

A dreaded panic,
A ripple in this foggy pond called humanity,
Life, experience, opportunity,
A change that cannot be undone,
A forever scar, a lasting burn.

Time goes on, but memories last
A grand story about the past,
The future be here, but just out of reach,
A never-ending ring of fire,
Escape the water, and not die out.

A glimmer in each of those lucky enough,
To have a chance of good,
An opportunity to live,
To experience a positive situation,
To be calmed by a Ray of hope.

At last I say my ill last words,
A sputter of life,
Dies out, like a candle in my mind,
Terror cannot reach what it can't see,
The year be horrible.


'What happens next?' by Olivia (11-14)


'Shh Listen' by Charlotte (11-14)

Shh listen to the sounds of sadness,
Shh listen to the sounds of sorrow,
Feel your heart inside like a drum,
The virus is near.

Shh listen to the sounds of screams,
People locked up like prisoners,
Shouting from nearby houses,
Too long we have been stuck they say.

Shh listen to the sounds of crying,
Crying because they are not aloud to see their mum,
Because they are not allowed to go outside,
Because they are not allowed in others hearts.

Shh listen to the sound of pain,
Pain from deep within,
Pain from the fact we are alone,
Alone we are.

Shh listen,
Listen hard,
Listen to the sound,
The sound of the virus.


COVID-19 by Robert (7-11)

It started with germs, and we washed our hands,
Then it began to ruin our plans.
First, they shut the swimming pool,
Next thing they closed the school.

Parents had to work from home,
Whilst I chatted to the garden gnome.
Stuck at home we felt trapped,
For key workers we clapped.

For my grandparents who were shielding, I wrote them a letter,
I wrote jokes and drew pictures to make them feel better.
We always had 1-hour exercise in the sun and in the rain,
And on VE Day I pretended to be a plane.

In lockdown we all learnt new skills,
My sister learnt to ride her bike, And I raced down hills.
I must stay out of my Dad’s working room,
Because he is constantly on zoom!

Mum became a teacher with experiments galore,
Potions bubbling and volcanoes erupting all over the floor.
For a lockdown holiday, we got a trip to the Isle of Wight,
With eat out to help we ate with all our might.

The semi-lockdown rule of six,
Made my communion party a bit of a fix.
We do not know how long Covid-19 will keep us apart,
But all my family have a special place in my heart!


Black Lives Matter by Tallulah (14-16)

If we were all colourblind, would society’s fatal flaw still stand?
Would the hand in hand from man to man still cause controversy that I can't understand?
Would there be peace and Justice for those who died
or would there be no such thing as the ones who survived?
Would we all then be equal put aside, put aside
the other factors involving such as money, such as pride?
But none of you would be happy because in order for success we need the less lucky
Like how we have the wealthy because we have the poor
And that's why we have police officers knocking on peoples’ doors
in their sleep when all they wanted was peace-
the only chance of freedom was only ever in their dreams

Most of my friends are white.
Do I envy them? Yes sometimes I might.
They've never experienced the racial abuse from strangers mouths
because they're not threatened by you,
by your colour,
It's a weapon
they'll give any excuse
for them to feel in power whites make the rules. Yes they do, yes they do!

The only way for change is to educate yourself
To tell the generations to come the mistakes you made yourself
and how you were wrong you now know it doesn't matter where you're from
‘All lives matter’ of course they do
but we need to focus on the biggest issue at hand,
in my brown hand
Society isn't perfect but we're getting better
The Change Is Now.
Black Lives Matter.


'The World is Waking Up' by Catherine (14-16)