Since the first lockdown in Spring 2020 we have had the joy of collaborating with the Penlee Family Project, a fabulous intergenerational community support group based in Pool. To help the project continue to engage with their community remotely, and with thanks to additional funding from the Cornwall Community Foundation, Storylines created a series of 100 creative, story-sharing packs as part of the Library of Us project. These packs were bursting with resources, prompts and activities that enabled people of all ages to contribute towards a book to document personal experiences of the pandemic. This process provided families with a framework for reflection and healing and gave those who are isolated an opportunity to connect with others and engage with something creative.
We have been bowled over by the responses we’ve since received and there is so much material that we have created 3 beautiful books to share them. These books document many aspects of life over 2020: including what we have missed; what we’ve been doing; our daily walks; how communities have pulled together; acts of kindness; what we’ve eaten; what belongings have helped us through; what reflections we’ve had; what advice we’d give and what dreams we’ve had. From aged 2 to aged 92, new parents to those isolated at home, we’ve captured a wide range of voices and experiences of this past challenging year. Putting the books together we have experienced many different emotions. We have laughed and we have cried. Some of the stories were heart breaking to read, and others warmed our hearts and gave us hope.
We have been sharing some of these responses on our social media (we’re relatively new to Instagram, so if you can follow us here), and we will continue to share them through our website. Here is a couple of short films showing the books-
We’ll end with a lovely quote from Terry Reynard and Kim Parker, Penlee Family Project Directors…
Hope can never be taken away. We can be sad at what has been lost and taken from us but we can also rejoice at all we have come through and the beautiful lessons we have learned. Here in our book about the Covid 19 experience in our community, we capture the stories of everyday lives in everyday places across all generations. We thank everyone for their contributions to this testimony of our shared experience.