2020 has been very unusual for everyone but probably even more so for children and young people. All around the UK and indeed around the world, people are sharing how they are feeling and what they have been doing whilst schools have been closed and normal activities have had to stop during the Coronavirus lockdown.
CEG, the business behind both the major Kirkstall Forge and Temple developments in Leeds, has started to collect the thoughts, feelings and stories from as many people as possible during the pandemic.
CEG have joined with the Yorkshire Evening Post and Leeds City Council: Museums and Galleries, Libraries and us (Child Friendly Leeds) and with your help, we’d like to capture, collect and preserve this unusual moment in time for future generations to see, hear and read about.
What’s this got to do with me and how can I get involved?
It’s difficult to think too far ahead right now, but one day we’ll all look back on the impact of Coronavirus as a major part of the history of Leeds. We want to make sure that we document the impact it is having on all of us.
Your diaries, experiences, films, pictures and other multi-media entries, will help to paint a picture of what life was like in Leeds and the challenges we all faced.
As a child friendly city, we want to make sure that the voices of children and young people from Leeds are heard, collected and remembered and that includes YOURS!
The project is called ‘Covid Diaries’ and their website explains how to submit your entry either by uploading it online or by sending in the post.
You can submit your entry/entries in whatever way is best or easiest for you.
What kind of thing can I enter or send?
You can submit whatever you want – it is all about you, your voice and sharing what this time has been like for you and everyone’s experience will be unique and different.
Some people like to write down words on a page like a story or diary entry or maybe you prefer to type text on your phone or computer.
Perhaps you prefer ‘the spoken word’, have written a poem or monologue and want to audio record your entry … or if you’re a musician and have written a song or piece of music maybe you can sing, rap or play it! Some of the best pieces of creative work have come out of times of difficulty and struggle.
Maybe you prefer to use your phone to record your experience as a vlog, take a photo and add a caption, record yourself audio or visual, share a social media post or Whats App conversation that captures your thoughts and feelings. Remember if your submission involves another friend, you’ll need to get their permission to share it and send it in together.
Some people prefer to express their thoughts and feelings through art? You could do a pencil or charcoal drawing or paint a picture using oil paints or watercolours. Maybe you have created some lockdown fashion using a sewing machine or decorated a t-shirt with acrylic pens. Perhaps you’ve created a sculpture from recycled materials or made a box model.
REALLY, IT CAN BE WHATEVER YOU WANT!
What will happen with my entry/submission?
The plan is to create an exhibition of a selection of ‘the diaries’ in the future and so when submitting yours, it is important to accept and agree to the copyright conditions.
Some final words from Councillor Fiona Venner, executive board member for children and families at Leeds City Council, added:
“Across the city, the lives of children and young people have been dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and they are presently living through the first national shutdown of schools in modern history. Along with the rest of us, they are having to come to terms with a whole new normal way of living and finding different and innovative ways to cope.
Children and young people are also incredibly resilient, and we have already seen lots of fantastic examples of positive things they are doing to help them and their families get through the current challenging situation.
This project offers a way to capture their experience of living through a pandemic and will provide a valuable snapshot of this point in the history of our great city for future generations. I hope that lots of children and young people will share their experiences and be a part of it.”