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enfield poemathon croppedenfield poemathon oct 2017A nine-hour feast of poetry In Enfield aims to rescue a family from a Syrian refugee camp. The Enfield Poem-a-thon will raise money for Enfield Refugee Welcome, the first Community Sponsorship Group in the UK to have resettled a refugee family under the government's Vulnerable Children's Resettlement Scheme.

Enfield Poem-a-thon organizer Maggie Butt, herself one of the poets who will be taking part, explains: "I am so proud that Enfield has the first community sponsorship group in the country to give the opportunity of a new life to a family of refugees. Although a poetry marathon seems an unlikely way to raise money, a similar event in Sheffield proved that  poetry really can change lives."

The Enfield Poem-a-thon features more than 60 sponsored poets, including nationally known names, local poets and children from Highfield Primary School. It takes place on Sunday 1st October (the closest to National Poetry Day) in the Dugdale Centre, Enfield Town, running  from 10am to 7pm, with poets reading for 8 minutes each.  The event will be formally opened by the Deputy Mayor and will have a cake stall, a tombola and a poetry book stall.

Enfield Refugee Welcome's first refugee family, comprising a mother and her children, has arrived, and is settling well. The group needs to raise £4,500 for each further adult to be resettled.

The event will conclude with poet George Szirtes, who came to the UK as a Hungarian refugee at the age of eight.  Other well-known poets include Mario Petrucci, Myra Schneider, Maggie Butt, Cheryl Moskowitz, Martyn Crucefix,  Alwyn Marriage, Hylda Sims, Timothy Ades, Danielle Hope, Peter Phillips, and ex-Enfield mayor Jayne Buckland, plus poets from Enfield Stanza group, Palmers Green Stanza group, Palmers Green Poets and Enfield Poets. The children from Highfield Primary School have been working for three years with poet-in-residence Cheryl Moskowitz to make poetry central in the curriculum.

Donations can be made via : www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/enfield--poem-a-thon

For more information about Enfield Refugee Welcome visit www.enfieldrefugeewelcome.org.

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