Amateur poet donates his £1,000 prize to a charity

Mayor John Wyatt presents national poetry competition winner Roger Cornish with his trophy and cheque with Melton library staff and representatives of United Press EMN-150424-105118001
Mayor John Wyatt presents national poetry competition winner Roger Cornish with his trophy and cheque with Melton library staff and representatives of United Press EMN-150424-105118001

A part-time caretaker is celebrating after scooping a £1,000 cash prize in a national poetry competition.

And Roger Cornish, from Melton, generously decided to donate his winnings to a charity.

He handed the money over to representatives of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, in memory of his daughter, Sarah, who died from the effects of having the condition.

Mr Cornish, who works for Melton Council, said: “In a way, I believe there are three winners: my dear mam, who’s morality, compassion and decency are captured for all to see in the poem; the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, who do a tremendous amount of work in supporting families and research into the condition; and myself, who gets a wonderful trophy for the mantelpiece.”

Roger found writing poetry quite therapeutic after the death of Sarah, who passed away, like many others do, whilst awaiting a suitable donor for a heart and lung transplant.

His winning poem, in a competition organised by publishers United Press, was about life growing up in hard times in his family of nine.

Mr Cornish said: “My mother used to occupy us by telling us traditional poems and nursery rhymes that still stay with us today.”

Gemma Walder, community development fundraising manager at the trust said the money would be invested into research and to support sufferers and their families.

She added: “Not only has he shown great skill in writing a winning poem he is also a very thoughtful man in donating his prize.”