In these times of Covid-19 we have all had to adapt and restructure our lives. Storylines has been no different, so instead of doing face to face interviews and intimate creative workshops to gather stories we have had to explore new avenues of working.
We were introduced to Terry of the fantastic Penlee Family Project in Pool and have since been working in collaboration with them to document the stories of the myriad of participants belonging to groups run by the project. From nursery children, new parents, the Friday Friendship group, sewing circle and local care home residents; the whole age range was there… the true essence of a Family project.
After much discussion it was decided that the best thing to do was to focus on the situation that we all found ourselves in… lockdown, and to gather stories from participants of all ages about their experiences of this challenging time. With thanks to additional finding from the Cornwall Community Foundation we have been able to produce a series of 100 colourful story-sharing packs to help achieve this. The responses from the packs will be collated and presented in a large book, which will remain in the setting as a constant reminder of these unprecedented times.
Over the past couple of months we’ve had our heads down and created an impressive production line that involved folding intricate bespoke booklets, drawing annotated ribbon maps and thinking of interesting prompts to illicit lots of stories. Activities in the packs explore such topics as how we inhabited our spaces during lockdown, what were our experiences around food and what was going on in our heads! Brightly coloured envelopes were filled with exciting goodies such as watercolour pencils, glue sticks, pens and drawing pencils, alongside luscious decorative papers for collage, providing people with a variety of ways to contribute.
It has been a huge but very enjoyable experiment and we hope that people are enjoying beavering away at our challenges. We are now starting to see some of the responses, which is very exciting and feedback from participants about their experiences of using these packs will be really valuable to shape our future work. Storylines is not sure when it will resume its usual ways of gathering stories, so, this may be the way forward for some time.
After the last pack returns at the end of the summer then the mammoth task of collating all the responses will begin and we will create a large book that will remain at Penlee Family Project for years to come as a reminder of these very strange times.