East Durham mum's lockdown poem inspiring people to explore County Durham once again
A moving poem written by an East Durham mum during lockdown that became a social media sensation features in a new campaign promoting County Durham.
The Rainbow Children, by Gemma Peacock from Shotton Colliery, was shared more than 10,000 times on Facebook from Canada to Australia, after she wrote it while feeling down one day during the height of the nationwide lockdown.
Many people recorded themselves reading it including North East celebrities such as Ant and Dec.
Her words are now being used as part of a new campaign by tourism chiefs at Visit County Durham to encourage people to once again visit the area and support its local businesses.
The Worth the Wait staycation drive showcases some of the places visitors can enjoy again following the long weeks of lockdown with the poem accompanying a video highlighting the area’s countryside, heritage, culture, family fun and food and drink.
Gemma, 35, wrote The Rainbow Children to reassure her young children at the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown after being inspired by all the pictures of rainbows in people’s windows.
She said: “I only expected family and friends to read my poem online when I wrote it in April, but now it has reached thousands and I’m pleased that it has helped people through the lockdown.
"And I couldn’t be more proud that it is inspiring people to come and visit the beautiful county we love so much.”
Gemma, husband Lee and their children Sonny and Kaleb even have a starring role in the video on a visit to Beamish museum.
Councillor Joy Allen, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for transformation, culture and tourism, said Gemma's poem really captured the nation’s mood.
She said: “We know tourism is crucial to getting our economy back on track and to supporting local businesses as we begin to recover from the pandemic, and by attracting people to County Durham this video can help do just that.”