Leeds COVID Diaries Project

People of all ages across Leeds are being asked to share their experiences of the coronavirus pandemic, in their choice of format, including video diaries, blogs, social media posts, photographs, artwork, songs and poems.

This initiative stems from a partnership between Leeds City Council and CEG,with the aim of collecting stories from as many local people as possible. Leeds Libraries, Leeds Museums and Galleries and Child Friendly Leeds, all part of Leeds City Council, are supporting the project.

Leeds Museums and Galleries will look at how the diary submissions might be used to help support any future displays and exhibitions exploring people’s experiences of the pandemic.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council

“There’s no doubt this has been an incredibly challenging time for our City and its communities and we have all had to adapt to so many extraordinary changes to every aspect of our daily lives. But even in the face of such upheaval and uncertainty, we have seen some truly remarkable displays of compassion, creativity and civic pride from the people of Leeds. This imaginative project will give us an opportunity to document and share some of those uplifting and emotional stories and create a lasting record of this unique chapter in the City’s history.”

Aisling Ramshaw, Head of Sales and Marketing at CEG

“The Covid-19 pandemic is unprecedented and as a business at the heart of the Leeds community we understand the impact it is having on people in a range of ways, from social distancing and personal wellbeing through to working from home habits, home schooling and, sadly, illness amongst our loved ones.

We are also seeing people finding new and innovative ways of communicating and interacting, such as video calls for both work and play, which is both positive and powerful. It provided the impetus for the idea as documenting live history will be both therapeutic and show how separation and isolation has also been helped by togetherness as communities support one another.

As a business that is the custodian of two nationally significant historical sites in Leeds, we really value history and believe this project can play an important role in understanding not only how society is living through the pandemic today, but being able to reflect on the impact it has had on people and wider society over the years to come and plan for the future.”

Councillor Fiona Venner, executive board member for children and families at Leeds City Council

“In Leeds, our ambition is to be the best City for children and young people to grow up in – a child friendly City – and ensuring that they have voice and influence about the things that affect them is incredibly important to us.

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.”

If you would like to contribute, you can choose to do so as a one-off, or a regular contributor,and you should note that some contributions may be shared on social media as well as being stored securely.

Further information on the project and how to submit entries can be found at www.coviddiaries.co.uk and the project can be followed on Instagram via @covid__diaries and Twitter/ Facebook via @Covid__Diaries.

Image provided by CEG.

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