Congratulations to Hafal’s first Roach Literary Award winners!

Earlier this month Hafal Wrexham held its first Roach Literary Awards night.

The Roach Literary Awards are presented in honour of the late Joe Roach who, along with his family, was supported by Hafal Wrexham’s Family Support Service.

Mr Roach, who was an accomplished writer, passed away in November last year. Members of his family raised money and approached Hafal with the idea to run an annual writing competition and award night in his memory.

On August 8, the day before Joe’s birthday, the first Roach Literary Awards night was held at Wrexham War Memorial Club.

Around 80 people attended including members of Hafal, competition entrants and family, friends and colleagues of Joe and his wife Kim.

Entries for this year’s competition were on the theme of ‘stories from another planet’, reflecting Joe’s love for science-fiction.

And the winners were…

1st Place: Anna-Louise Edwards – ‘Just Over the Hill’
2nd Place: Ian Baynes – ‘Niasac’
3rd Place: Jessica Davies – ‘Stargazer’
Runner up: Emma Brown – ‘The Scent of Flowers’.

Hafal Recovery Practitioner Dylan Jones said: “Joe’s imagination was unbelievable. He could see things I could not and have multiple narratives running at once in his mind until he found the one which kept the reader on pins.

“The night was amazing and we had a bigger turnout than first expected. We had a performance from Kim Choir, which is run by individuals who are affected by serious mental illness, and also a performance later on from friends of the family Sam and Ryan who gave us an amazing interpretation of Elton John’s Rocket Man, which was really fitting for the occasion.”

Over £300 was raised on the evening for next year’s event.

Hafal Wrexham’s writing group is passionate about using creative writing as a form of expression which can promote a better quality of life for people living with a serious mental illness. The group hopes that the Roach Literary Award will inspire even more people to explore their love of storytelling.

Congratulations to all the winners, participants and everyone who made the Roach Literary Awards such a success! We look forward to many more awards nights…


Matt Pearce