A CUMBRIAN teacher has distilled the impact of lockdown on young minds in a fascinating anthology of children’s poetry.

Katja Broadbent, 41, has produced a 220-page collection of verse written by children across the county and capturing their experience of the pandemic and its profound impact.

“I have been staggered by the volume and quality of the entries we received,” said Katja, of Westnewton, near Allonby, who has recently been teaching at James Rennie School in Carlisle.

“Children from all over Cumbria sent in amazing poems that give a real insight into how much their lives changed overnight; and how they were keeping their spirits up and motivating themselves to cope with those changes.”

With more than 100 poems included, the book – entitled Lockdown – includes many memorable contributions, expressing childhood worries, humour, and insights.

This was from ten-year-old Thomas Spires, a pupil at Whitehaven’s Jericho Primary: “Lockdown’s hard, lockdown’s boring; lockdown’s leaving everyone snoring.

“My mum’s getting stressed; my dad’s getting fatter, but as long as we stay healthy it doesn’t matter.”

From Isobel Rose Simpson, 10, who studies at Penrith’s North Lakes School, came this: “Here comes the Coronavirus monster, All slimey and gooey. When he comes around, We all turn gloomy. He uses us, to infect others, And doesn’t stop with sisters and brothers.”

Seven-year-old Thomas Kent, from Barrow’s Holy Family Primary School, had a positive outlook.

His poem says: “Life in lockdown is strange but cool. My home and garden have become my school.... My brothers are my new class friends but I will be glad to see Year 3 when this ends. We go for a walk once a day, Then out in the garden we go to play. I have done lots of baking and colouring too; Joe Wicks teaches us PE in the living room.”

Thomas ends with an admission that he looks forward to the end of lockdown: “I miss playing rugby and even school. I really hope lockdown is over soon.”

Profits from the anthology will help two good causes: The Freedom Project: West Cumbria, a charity helping those affected by domestic abuse; and Young Cumbria, a charity supporting children throughout Cumbria.

The book – costing £12 – is available at www.cumbriapoetry.yolasite.com/ and at Bookends in Keswick who are kindly waiving their percentage to further help the two charities.