At a glittering award ceremony held at a top London hotel, the creative talents of MAHA SALMAN and LAURA STEVENS were recognised and rewarded.

Laura’s poem ‘A POWERFUL FORCE’ was selected from over 1800 entries in the NASUWT creative writing section of the National ‘ARTS and MINDS’ competition. The poem explored the way that words can both up build and generate positive self-esteem but may also be used to belittle and bully. Here is an extract from Laura’s poem:



Mere vibrations in the atmosphere

A snapshot into the mind of another

A masterpiece crafted in air

Words inspire, teach….


They can box you in

Surround you in labels

Leave you wondering who you really are…’


Judges included the Television presenter Gok Wan who suffered bullying at school due to his ethnicity, weight and sexuality. Gok commented on the maturity and wisdom of the writing.

In addition, Maha Salman’s poem ‘Hope’ was the National winner of the ANNE FRANK POETRY award. Maha addressed the gathering with great poise and maturity commenting on the inspiration she had drawn from Anne Frank’s spirited refusal to be crushed by her confinement in the secret annexe. Here is an extract from Maha’s poem:


‘Hope was a young girl – Miss Anne Frank

Her mind filled with naivety

Believing deeply that people are good at heart…

Despite hiding behind dust

Screaming in terror from her nightmares

She believed that behind misery there was beauty…’


Gillian Walnes MBE of the Anne Frank Trust Uk said that Maha’s poem acutely thoughtful with the use of run on lines that created a sense of the endless nature of the suffering endured. Maha had captured Anne Frank’s role as an embodiment of hope for so many people who endure oppression.

Maha enjoyed a night in a first class hotel and a trip on the London Eye.

Most importantly, both girls used their creative talents to stand against racism and bullying.

KEHS is proud of you, Laura and Maha!

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