And the winners are....

Released On 28th Jul 2022

And the winners are....

28 July 2022

Three winners of the Fostering In Somerset Creative Writing Competition each scooped £250 in vouchers, as well as £250 in vouchers for their chosen school.

Millie with the Headteacher of St Joseph’s RC School in Burnham

Somerset residents of all ages were encouraged to write a short story of up to 1,000 words for Foster Care Fortnight in May for the chance to win a share of £1,500 of vouchers.

Somerset County Council’s fostering and library services received over 100 entries and judges whittled these down to three winners.

In the ten years and under category, the winning short story was ‘How Far Can A Smile Go?’ by Millie Rutherford. In the 11-17 year section, ‘Grandfather’ by Madison Bouchta was the winner, while Rowan Patterson’s ‘Learning Harmony’ won the 18 plus age group.

All three winning stories can be read at

The stories needed to reflect one of the key messages of Fostering In Somerset’s Theo’s Story campaign, which include personal struggles, compassion, positive change and making a difference.

Theo’s Story is a short emotive animation which shows a lone bear being ‘fostered’ by an adult bear highlighting how fostering can open a new chapter in a child’s life. View the video here

Madison with the Headteacher of Court Fields School in Wellington

Madison said: “I hadn’t really heard much about Fostering In Somerset, but I felt touched after watching Theo’s Story, and felt inspired to write about the impacts family has on a person’s life.

“After brainstorming several ideas, I chose to write about the loss of my Grandad in November. We would paint and watch old films together, and just like in my story, I would read to him as he did to me when I was very little. There is also a character in my story called Dr Leigh Vere – which is actually an anagram for my Grandad’s name.

“I was so shocked when I received the phone call that I had won. I was revising for my Spanish GCSE Exam, and I was quite literally over the moon. It was such an incredible feeling that I immediately texted my Mum to say ‘I have the best news for you when you get home!’”

Rowan with Huish Academy Staff

Rowan Patterson from Langport won the ‘18 and over’ category. She said: “I’d say, if you want to write, start writing. You can’t improve it until something’s on the page! And also read tons, and join a friendly writers’ group – ideally in person, but there are lots online too. Sharing your writing can be nerve-wracking but it helps you to hear it in a different way and you’ll learn so much from other writers’ work and comments.”

Each of the three winners received £100 in National Book Tokens and a £150 Love2Shop giftcard. An additional £250 of National Book Tokens was awarded to each of the winners’ chosen schools – St Joseph’s RC Primary School in Burnham-on-Sea, Court Fields School in Wellington, and Huish Academy in Langport.

Cllr Tessa Munt, Somerset County Council Lead Member for Children and Families, said: “This competition really captured the imagination and we received so many wonderful entries from writers of all ages, all inspired by our very own ‘Theo’s Story’ campaign. Thanks to all who took part and congratulations to our very worthy winners.

“I hope these stories will encourage others to consider fostering. We urgently need more foster carers to provide safe, stable homes and transform the lives of vulnerable children in Somerset.”

A great foster carer can help change a child’s story. If you’re interested in fostering, or would like to find out more, visit or call 0800 587 9900 and speak to our friendly team.

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