Stories of lockdown in Lancaster district shared in new book and films

Lancaster education centre Global Link has launched a book and films telling the story of lockdown through the eyes of people in the district.

Wednesday, 14th October 2020, 7:00 am
'Stories of Lancaster and Morecambe's Community Response to the Covid Crisis' is a booklet and several short films documenting the extraordinary efforts of people in the district to help those most vulnerable through the lockdown. Photo by Tom Morbey.

'Stories of Lancaster and Morecambe's Community Response to the Covid Crisis' is a booklet and several short films documenting the extraordinary efforts of people in the district to help those most vulnerable through the lockdown.

Global Link is a Development Education Centre based in Lancaster which delivers projects to help support asylum seekers and refugees as well as community heritage and global learning including oral histories and digital storytelling.

During the summer of 2020 local refugees and asylum seekers interviewed people across the district about their experiences of helping others through the lockdown.

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The result is 14 stories of volunteers, voluntary sector staff, and the city council, who worked together as a community to provide help to the vulnerable, ranging from food bank and medicine deliveries, IT support to access online learning, to over-the-phone counselling, casework or translation, to housing the homeless.

Gisela Renolds, executive director of Global Link, said: "I was immediately struck by the extraordinary speed with which the city council and the voluntary sector totally adapted its services to focus on meeting the needs of the most vulnerable who could not access food and medicine, as well as children and adults who had no access to online learning.

"I was amazed by how many people wanted to volunteer to help others, including within the asylum seeker refugee community. We felt this positive community response was something to celebrate, so we decided to document some of these stories."

Dr Alison Lloyd Williams, who co-ordinated the project for Global Link, said: "These stories are moving and inspiring, and show how valuable volunteering is to both the volunteers in terms of confidence, self worth and skills development, and to those they are helping.

"They are a testament to the importance of the voluntary sector, and show that in these strange Covid times, this sector has never been more needed."

MP Cat Smith said: "This project by Global Link is so inspiring. It reminds us that out of adversity can come hope when people pull together to help each other out.

"Everyone featured in these stories has demonstrated resilience, kindness and an amazing ability to adapt during a time of national crisis, and this project has given a voice to those who often aren’t heard."

The project was funded by the Big Lottery Fund and Lancaster City Council.