A Bed Every Night

As temperatures continue to drop we start dreaming about a nice Christmas. For rough sleepers the colder weather marks the start of a grueling few months of trying to stay alive. Finding a safe, warm place becomes harder and harder. Six million children in Britain live in housing that is overcrowded, temporary, or run-down.

So this year, instead of our traditional Christmas poetry competition we are asking our schools both in our Teaching School Alliance @AFLTeachingSch or just schools in GM to write their poems to highlight the issue of homelessness. Please do encourage your students to join in.




To enter this competition please email Claire Whelan – – deadline Monday 17th December 2018 (12 noon)


One of our judges is writer Amanda Berriman. Her novel ‘Home’ started life as a short story (‘A Home without Moles’) in ‘Stories for Homes’ – a charity anthology published in 2013 to raise money for Shelter. She intended to leave it as a short story but found her narrator, four and a half year old Jesika, had more to say and her story grew into a novel about the difficulties of raising children in poverty with limited choices and a lack of safety nets. In Home, Jesika lives in a flat with her mother and baby brother and she knows a lot. She knows their flat is high up and the stairs are smelly. She knows she shouldn’t draw on the peeling wallpaper or touch the broken window. And she knows she loves her mummy and baby brother Toby. She does not know that their landlord is threatening to evict them and that Toby’s cough is going to get much worse. Or that Paige, her new best friend, has a secret that will explode their world. ‘Home’ is currently available in hardback and e-book. The paperback is due to be released in February 2019 –


We have also launched a blog with some tips on how schools and colleges can work with children and young people to try and make sure those families are signposted to the right support


Please click the link to be directed to our blog site to find out how your school can get involved:


We know that we always have lots of schools joining our annual poetry completion, but this year I’m hoping even more will.

Let’s raise awareness of this really important issue together.







Alliance for Learning
Cavendish Road, Bowdon
Altrincham WA14 2NL
Proud to part of the Bright Futures Education Trust