The results are in! The winning entry of the first IMO ‘Write Speak Share’ competition has been chosen by our guest judge Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, and we are thrilled to be able to share it with you.

We launched this competition in March 2019 as a way to further share and amplify the stories, experiences and talent of teens in care and care leavers from across the UK, and we’ve been blown away by both the response rate and the extremely high standard of submissions received. The theme for the competition was ‘Your Biggest Achievement’ and it was an absolute privilege to get to read so many inspiring entries. We think that others in care should get to read them too, so we’ll be sharing a selection of them on IMO over the coming weeks and months. We hope that, by sharing these entries, we can contribute towards challenging negative perceptions and breaking down some of the barriers and stigma often experienced by those who have spent time in care.

Winning entry

The winning entry was written by Abbey, aged 21. We’d like to say a massive congratulations to Abbey for writing a fantastic piece about her achievements and we are delighted to be able to present her with 40 hours of driving lessons from the AA which we hope will really benefit her in the future. On being announced as the winner, Abbey said: “Thank you so much, I’m over the moon! It’s nice to be able to make something of what I’ve been through, thanks for taking the time to read this and arrange the competition.” Read her entry here. 

On reading Abbey’s entry, the judges said: “It was a privilege to read this entry. It is beautifully written, very raw and honest with a great message of hope… it gave us goosebumps”.

Three runners up, who will each receive Curzon cinema tickets and an IMO goodie bag, were also chosen and will be announced on IMO next week.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to enter this competition, we were extremely grateful to receive your entries, and thank you also to The AA for providing us with a fantastic prize and giving us the opportunity to give it to one of our readers. Keep an eye out for our second writing competition, which we’ll be launching later this year.