Poster Competition

The idea of the poster competition came about because we wanted to raise awareness, to gain support and get people thinking about refugees’ situations.  We settled on a poster competition, as something straightforward, impactful and eye-catching, and something which everyone can engage with.
Refugee Exit

We chose the theme ‘Refuge’, and expanded this idea to include the simpler word ‘Home’, in order for more children to be able to think about the issues and to join in.  We posed the question, “What does ‘home’ mean to you?”   We asked what it would mean not to have a home, a refuge, a safe place, and how that would make you feel, and to imagine how people who have suffered, lost their homes and travelled far would feel.

In early May, a group of ERRC volunteers set to work writing to all the schools in the East Cambridgeshire region, explaining the idea and providing a set of resources, which were created by refugee, human rights and children’s charities, and which could be used as a starting point for discussion.  We also publicised the competition around Ely, in the press and on social media.  Joan Wall did an amazing job of getting a wonderful range of prizes from local businesses.  And then we waited...

We heard nothing for a couple of weeks, and then the entries started coming in. First, a wonderful envelope of posters from Key Stage 1 pupils at St John’s school arrived.  These were simple drawings by 6 and 7 year olds, in felt tip and pencil, but were hugely moving, as they showed an understanding of what it would mean not to have a safe home, and real compassion and care for other people. 

We were even more delighted that entries from other schools – Mepal and Witcham Primary School and Witchford Village College – then arrived, and also from a local childminder, as well as from individual children.  By the time the competition closed, we had received around 100 entries, from children aged 4 to 14.  The posters showed a wonderful variety of messages, of colour, imagination, empathy and kindness, in different sizes and media.

Dee McCormack with all the winners

We were very lucky to have found three excellent judges for the competition: Ely’s Mayor, Ian Lindsay; artist, Ricki Outis, and ERRC’s own Dr Dee McCormack.  We would like to thank them for the time and care they took in choosing the winners – and for their excellent choices.

The winners, runners-up and commended entrants were awarded their prizes and certificates at a ceremony at Ely Library last Saturday, and we were delighted to see the happy children and their proud families.  The posters have been on display at the library until today, and from tomorrow they will be at the Old Fire Engine House Gallery – please do encourage your friends to have a look.

So, we have been very pleased that the competition has been a success.  You can see the winning entries here, but, for us, the children’s words are the most moving and wonderful part, and the most important thing we ca

n all take from this.  They are a reminder of what unspoiled compassion looks like, and they recognise our shared humanity.

Here are some of the things the children said:

“We will welcome you and Dee McCormack with all the winnerswe will help you.  We will give you food and water, a home and help.” 

“Everyone needs a home.” 

“We are lucky.  But just think back to those who aren’t.”

 “You can live in England.  I will be so excited if you would make friends with me.  Welcome.”

“You’re welcome to come.  We will share love.”

“I hope you find a home that you find comfortable.”

“Home is where you should feel safe...  These children from Syria deserve safer lives.”

“Be safe.  I send my love.”

 “Take in a refugee today, change a life for a child, make a difference, make them feel loved once again, these people have been through enough.  Give them what they need: hope.”

“Home is where your story begins.” 

These are the winning entries. Well done to all the children that took part. You are all amazing!


 KS1 Winner - Amelia.jpg

 KS1 Winner

KS1 Runner Up
KS1 Runner up - Arlo
 KS1 Commended - Klara

KS1 Commended

KS1 Commended
 KS1 Commended - Felicity
 KS1 Commended - James Age 5

KS1 Commended


A lovely note on the back of James's poster

KS2 Winner
 KS2 Winner - Lily Age 8
 KS2 Runner up - Georgia.jpg

KS2 Runner Up

KS2 Commended

KS2 Commended - William
 KS2 Commended - Eloise

KS2 Commended

KS3 Winner

KS3 Runner up - Ryan

KS3 Runner Up

KS3 Highly Commended
KS2 Commended - Ellen
KS3 Commended - Anna

KS3 Commended