A 10-year-old boy from Wakefield is raising vital funds for Yorkshire Cancer Research by writing a poem for every day of the year.
Aurav Vinta, a year 5 pupil at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, decided to take on the challenge after developing a passion for writing poetry while attending a key workers club during last year’s lockdown.
Aurav publishes his poems on a blog titled ‘365 poems for curious poets’ and has already raised £300 for Yorkshire Cancer Research. He chose to raise funds for the charity after losing his great-uncle to cancer in February.
His mum, Shilpa, said: “My husband and I are both doctors, so Aurav and his sisters went to a key workers club almost every weekday. He had to spend long days without his friends or his usual teachers. He was in a small group of five to eight kids. It was different for him, but it gave him time to concentrate on other things like poetry.
“Then when New Year came, everyone in the family committed to a New Year’s resolution just for fun, and Aurav said he would write a poem every day. He has continued doing so diligently now for nearly four months.”
Aurav’s poems are inspired by day-to-day events at school and around the world. He often jots down ideas during break time at school and many of his poems focus on topics such as animals, reflecting his interest in nature. Other recent topics have included the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Anne Frank’s diary and a celebration of his mum on Mother’s Day.
Aurav said: “I do find it challenging sometimes to fit it into my usual routine, especially now that my cricket and other sporting activities are up and running. But I take my resolutions very seriously. My blog gets lots of views, and I have followers from across the world and that inspires me to write more.”
After the death of his great-uncle, Aurav realised that some health conditions like cancer were not being talked about as much during the pandemic.
He said: “My great-uncle lived in India and we couldn’t visit due to travel restrictions but had long conversations on the phone. I felt sad and thought that people were so busy with COVID-19 they were sometimes forgetting other serious health conditions such as cancer. There was talk about cancer at school too when a senior schoolboy’s sister died of cancer. He was raising awareness and funds for charity so that inspired me.”
Shilpa added: “We, as his parents, are very proud of him and sometimes are pleasantly surprised at what he comes up with and how sensitive he is to the surroundings and events happening around the world.
“We have some quality time together reading and talking about his poems. He is quite disciplined to be able to continue with the ‘project’ as he calls it, and he hopes to raise enough funds to be able to help young people with cancer.”
Dr Kathryn Scott, Chief Executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said:
“We are often blown away by the innovation and dedication of our amazing supporters, and this has to be one of the most creative fundraising ideas we’ve seen.
“We’d like to say a huge well done and thank you to Aurav for choosing to make a difference to the lives of people with cancer in our region. The funds raised will help support pioneering research that improves the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in Yorkshire.”