Contest in memory of respected Jarrow journalist receives £6,000 funding boost

A poetry prize set up in memory of a respected journalist and writer has received a funding boost.

Thursday, 14th March 2019, 5:00 am
Updated Thursday, 14th March 2019, 7:28 am
Elizabeth Kane, learning officer at The Customs House; judge Alistair Robinson; Over 16 winner Lauren Aspery; Heather McDonald from the Scottish Power Foundation, and Tom Kelly. Photo by Billy Amann.

The Terry Kelly Poetry Prize aims to inspire young people from across the North East to develop a passion for poetry.

It was established following the death of the much-loved Gazette reporter who died in 2016, aged just 57.

Terry Kelly.

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The competition forms part of the The Takeover Festival at The Customs House, South Shields, which takes place during the May half term and has recently received a funding boost of £6,000 from the Gillian Dickinson Trust.

Alexander Dickinson, a trustee of the trust, said: “For 15 years the Gillian Dickinson Trust has been supporting artistic excellence in the north east by focusing on a number of organisations which embody the highest standards.

“With this objective, the Trust has agreed to support The Terry Kelly Poetry Prize in its aim to inspire children in the north east to develop a passion for poetry.

“The Trust considers that the exposure of children to high artistic standards at an early age will encourage them to strive for high standards in all fields as they mature and in their adult lives.

“We wish The Terry Kelly Poetry Prize well and look forward to seeing this year’s entries.”

The Terry Kelly Poetry Prize has also scooped an award on behalf of The High Sheriff of Tyne and Wear, Paul Callaghan CBE, in recognition of its contribution in giving young people a constructive activity and event to take part in.

Head Judge Tom Kelly said: “This is such fantastic news. It is a true testament to the growing strength of The Terry Kelly Poetry Prize that The Customs House has developed over the last few years.”

The funding from the trust will pay for a series of poetry writing workshops with schools across South Tyneside led by Matt “Ken Masters” Sokell, as well as the development of a poetry resource for teachers to inspire learners in Years 7, 8 and 9 to support them to enter next year’s competition. The High Sheriff’s Award will support the cost of publishing this year’s anthology.

The Terry Kelly Poetry Prize is open for entries now. The deadline for entries is 9am on April 26, 2019. For details visit