On Saturday 1st October Lemn Sissay, poet, author and advocate for young people attended a very special event at After Adoption Head Office in Manchester to celebrate the winners of our Oodles of Doodles competition.
Throughout the summer at both TalkAdoption activity groups and the therapeutic residential camps, young adopted people have been taking part in our creative competition. Young people were tasked with showing us what family means to them, on a tiny canvas just 7cm square, inspired by the mosaics of famous artists such as Gaudi.
Families travelled to the event from across the country and got involved in more creative arts when they arrived, including some impressive origami and even designing our Christmas card for 2017!
Lemn Sissay gave an insightful and encouraging speech to the families, talking openly about his own experiences in care and how inspired he is by adopted people: “Superman was adopted, Batman was adopted. Adopted people are special.”
He explained, “I find that adopted people are always the ones who are that bit more thoughtful, they’re kind, they think about other people’s feelings. I get a lot of requests and I really wanted to be here.”
He also read the poems from two adopted young people, titled “My Aspirations” who had attended a Spoken Word workshop as part of the TalkAdoption therapeutic residential camps.
Lemn joined After Adoption on the same day he was the masthead in The Guardian’s family section, featuring an article about his own experiences of family. A fitting day to share with the very special families at the event.
The canvases will be displayed in After Adoption offices to exhibit the stunning work created by young people for years to come.