Ethical cleaning company founded on Christian values to support poets celebrating key workers


Key workers are to be celebrated by poets in a new competition founded by a Christian cleaning company that promotes fair pay and dignity at work.
A picture of a cleaner for Clean for Good

Poetry for Good is a poetry competition open to all with the proviso that poems should be about key workers – from nurses to cleaners and everyone in between.

The competition is supported by the company Christian company Clean for Good.

Founded in 2017, the company is majority owned by three founding Christian charities – the Church of England parish of St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe, the Centre for Theology and Community and the Church Mission Society - who lead the company and ensure its social purpose.

During the pandemic, the company has ensured all its nearly 50 cleaners have been paid 100 per cent of their salaries, including those on furlough, and the company is already a Living Wage employer.

The Archdeacon of London, Luke Miller called for more people to get involved. He said: “Inspired by the call of Christ, Clean for Good helps us all to do good.

“Cleaners, like so many others on whom the nation depends on are often unnoticed. Bringing the unnoticed to notice is what a poem does.

A cleaner for Clean for Good is shown beside a brick wall

“This competition will help celebrate key workers bringing them, their ideas and the ideas they inspire to notice and at the same time revealing the hidden work of the Spirit. Please join in.”

The competition will be judged by an all-female panel of poets including the Young People’s Laureate for London 2020-21, Cecilia Knapp. She is to be joined by Katherine Lockton, the editor of South Bank Poetry, and Rachel Long, founder of Octavia, the poetry collective for women of colour.

There will be cash prizes in three categories of Written and Spoken Word for the over 16s and Growing Word for younger teens.

Tim Thorlby, Managing Director of Clean for Good, said: “The last year has been tough for many, including our team of cleaners in London. We are embarking upon this unusual collaboration because we wanted to highlight and celebrate the work of the millions of key workers in this country.

“Poetry has a way of cutting through to people in new ways. We hope that the competition will open the hearts and minds of more people to the crucial role that our key workers play and the pressing need to give them the fair pay and respect they deserve”

The deadline for entry in the competition is Friday March 26.