5asideCHESS Battling Suicide Bus returns to Morecambe to announce story board prize winners

This weekend the 5asideCHESS Battling Suicide Bus will be back in Morecambe to judge the Morecambe Fringe Festival short story competition.

By Michelle Blade
Friday, 17th July 2020, 12:46 pm
The 5asidechess Battling Suicide bus will be back in Morecambe to judge the Morecambe Fringe Festival story competition.
The 5asidechess Battling Suicide bus will be back in Morecambe to judge the Morecambe Fringe Festival story competition.

Ross Smith, co-founder, said: "We're returning to Morecambe as we’ve been running a Covid-19 short story competition in conjunction with Morecambe Fringe Festival this summer.

"We asked people to write a 250 word short story about how they had been affected by Covid-19 and have had entries from Nigeria, Uganda, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Bangladesh,

India, Moldova, South Africa, USA, Belgium, Egypt and Bhutan as well as, obviously, Morecambe and the rest of the UK.

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"Collectively these paint a vivid global picture of an extraordinary time. The shortlist and the winners will be chosen this weekend and we thought that it would be great to bring the bus up to Morecambe again and display some of the entries on the outside of the bus for people to come and read.

"After all, there's only 15 finalists but we had over 330 entries."

Matt Panesh, Morecambe Fringe director said: "I thought it was a beautiful, touching idea. The Judges are Barnaby Fenwick from sponsors Bright Hygiene, Geeta Ludhra, Cieran Smith and we are particularly delighted that the Mayor of Lancaster has also agreed to be a judge.

"They have the unenviable task of choosing their winner in each of the three age categories.

"Their vote, combined with votes from the entrants, will decide the final winners who will each get £100 and their words immortalised on a limited edition 5asideCHESS set.

"100 of each set will be produced and all proceeds will go to Morecambe Fringe."

The 15 shortlisted entries will be recorded and read out by Morecambe's West End Players and shown as part of the "Placeholder Fringe" on Morecambe Fringe's Facebook page from 7.30pm (Uk time) this Friday evening.

"The winners will be announced on Saturday July 18."

Ross said: "The bus will be arriving Friday and staying over the weekend in various choice spots. Please come over, grab a coffee and say hi."

5asideCHESS is a social enterprise determined to reconnect people in a disconnected world.

Loneliness and social isolation have never been more prevalent here in the UK and this is directly linked to mental health issues and suicide.

5asideCHESS, which is sponsored by kitchen cleaning company, Bright Hygiene, runs the #CheckOnYaMate campaign which visited 40 towns and cities around the UK, including Morecambe.

For more information about 5asideCHESS and the Battling Suicide Bus Tour, visit www.5asideCHESS.com.