Never Such Innocence held a special night at The Ivy in London on the 16th February 2015. The event aimed to raise awareness about Never Such Innocence’s educational initiatives , as we approached the close of our pilot poetry and art competition  for schoolchildren.

The evening was a great success and was topped off by the readings of some of our first poetry competition entries by members of the Combat Veteran Players. This included Androcles Scicluna from the Data Telegraphist with the Royal Corp of Signals, Andy McCabe from the Royal Navy and Shaun Johnson from The Royal Artillery.

The CVP is exclusively comprised of ex-Service personnel, performing professional theatre whilst overcoming trauma and related difficulties from being in the forces. Since conception in 2012, the CVP have built a repertoire of Shakespeare plays including ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and ‘Hamlet’ and have performed at a number of well-established venues throughout the UK.

The poems read included:

  • Live or Die? By Harry Richards, Kingswode Hoe School - Year 7-9 category
  • What Happens Next? By Sean Thackwray, Kingswode Hoe School - Year 10-11 category
  • The Fallen Ones by Harrison English, Oakwood Park Grammar School - Year 10-11 category
  • The Body of War by Max Park, Alleyn's School - Year 7-9 category
  • Suppressing Stalemate by Edwin Scott, Wymondham College - Year 10-11 category
  • The future is bleak by Beth Probert, Rushcliffe School - Year 7-9 category
  • The love of a mother by Melissa Kastrati, Eglinton Primary School
  • Why? By Rhema Jolade Aiyegbusi, Eglinton Primary School

The readings received an excellent reception from our distinguished guests including the Belgian Ambassador to the UK His Excellency Guy Trouveroy, actress Angela Rippon and model David Gandy.

Lady Lucy French and Edward Wild, Chairs of Never Such Innocence, were also in attendance and were incredibly impressed by the calibre of the poetry and art from the schoolchildren.

The night was generously supported by CH2M and was a joint venture with Style for Soldiers - a charitable incentive set up to give gifts to young servicemen and women injured in conflict. 

All images above are © Richard Young.