Youngsters at primary school near Lancaster 'make some noise' to bring community together during lockdown
Schoolchildren in Halton have started a movement to show the village they are united, despite not being together at this time.
The 'Make Some Noise' initiative at St Wilfrid's CE Primary School went with a bang - and a few other noises - at its first attempt last week, and it is now hoped other schools around the district and maybe even further afield will join in the fun.
The idea - similar to the 'Clap for Carers' initiative which spread worldwide last year - came from parent Leila Daneshvar, amid concerns that parents might be struggling with home schooling and finding the isolation difficult, as well as for the children upset at not being able to see their friends.
Mum-of-two Leila came up with the idea after receiving a call from the school to check how home schooling was going.
On top of the Covid-19 pandemic, Leila has struggled to find work in her mechanical engineering field since moving from Iran two years ago, and her father-in-law also recently passed away.
"The moment I was asked how I was doing, I just couldn't stop crying," she said.
"As a non-key worker I need to be connected and have some kind of energy," she said. "I thought maybe a kind of connection like the clap for carers and key workers would bring that feeling of being united, not just for key workers but for everyone.
"It's a clap for each other to show that life is carrying on and there's hope and we have each other and one day this is going to be over.
"It's just a sign of life to show some hope. We are apart from each other but we need to push together to get out of this tunnel."
And so, at 1.15pm last Wednesday, the first Make Some Noise event was held.
Children attending school and those at home joined in with the clapping, cheering, shouting, hitting pots and pans, playing instruments and more.
To help mark Children's Mental Health Week last week, Lancashire Fire and Rescue also brought along one of their fire engines to the school gates to join in with making some noise.
"The school was very supportive and it was fantastic," said Leila, whose four and seven-year-old daughters both attend St Wilfrid's.
"We took the children outside with a xylophone and pans. It was good that the children all saw each other, and it felt good for them to feel some love and hope.
"I just hope our children can come out of this stronger and appreciating life."
Leila, who herself had to be home schooled growing up during the war in Iran, said it was important that people were there for each other.
"Everyone needs to know that it is fine to not have to put a face on and say that everything is fine," she said. "I have had so many messages from people saying they felt they were going insane and this made them feel better.
School pastoral support worker Jane Wall-Budden said: "I have made contact with all the local schools in Lancaster too and we have had a great response from them and many will be joining in with us which is wonderful.
"I hope we can spread the idea nationally to get all schools across the country to also bring their children and pupils together and celebrate how brave and resilient they are all being."
Trumacar Primary School has already also posted on its Facebook page to encourage youngsters to get involved.