Documenting life in lockdown

Documenting life in lockdown

By Michael Upton | 21/05/2020

Documenting life in lockdown


LIFE in lockdown is being recorded for posterity by two projects aiming to harness the creativity of Rotherham folk in these unusual times.

Community organiser Ian Huddleston is inviting submissions of stories, videos, diary entries and poems for a collection called The Covid Diaries, while writer Katie O’Brien is keen to inspire people to pen to paper or fingers to keyboard with her own project From My Window.

Ian said the Diaries would be shaped by what people sent in, adding: “The project will itself take the shape of what is sent in, so it’s totally directed by the community really.

“I expect this to change as we go, so the finished project may look totally different to how it was originally intended.

“We are also looking at potentially putting together a book to go alongside this, but that all depends on how much stuff we get sent in, and we may also look at a wordpress page so we can upload material in real time and be more interactive.”

He added: “People can email me their entries (if video files or mp3 — use, preferably recorded if they are poems, but poems, diary entries and stories can be sent in written form.

“I had a person read his poem down the phone the other day which I recorded by holding my four-track up to the handset!

“I will be putting some music to this and putting to some visuals that have been sent in.”

Ian said those expressing an interest had been sent a list of questions and asked to record a “piece to camera” answering them, which he planned to edit together to form a narrative for the project.

Those taking part have included Dinnington School students, staff from the JADE youth centre and other young people.

He added: “We have already had a Dinnington sixth form student out taking amazing photos of his neighbours on their doorsteps, so it’s important we get as much of the community involved in making it as possible.

“We have had poems sent in from residents in our community groups, videos of exercise groups, and stories about how they are getting through the days in lockdown.”

Anyone wanting to get involved should email Ian at or visit to find out more.

Meanwhile, South Yorkshire author Kate is encouraging young writers aged between nine and 16 to take inspiration from her daily cues on social media to write about their experiences in lockdown.

She is planning a book made up of poems and prose prompted by prompts on her Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages.

“While it’s to encourage creativity, it’s also to serve therapeutically for our young people in a way to support their mental health,” said Kate, a former teacher who now writes children’s books.

“I just wanted to offer support in the only way I can really.”

Visit KatesWords (no space) on Facebook, @kates_words on Twitter or kates.words on Instagram and email your contributions to

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