Community arts project calls for the stories of volunteers who helped during the Covid-19 pandemic

People can send stories in or chat to the producer in person during Volunteers' Week.

A mock up of how the completed project will look.
A mock-up of how the completed project will look.

The Community Spirit of Leicestershire project will celebrate the work of volunteers during the coronavirus pandemic.


If you freely gave your time during the lockdown, the project is inviting you to share your story. You can also make rosettes that will be assembled into a celebratory artwork.


Beginning during Volunteers' Week (June 1-7), free in-person events will be held around Leicestershire. People who volunteered during Covid can come along to chat about their memories, get stuck in and make a rosette.


Creative producer of the project Ruth Singer - who is a local artist - was inspired by her own experience as a food bank volunteer in Leicester.

She's aiming to record how vital the contributions of volunteers were. Some helped a neighbour access food and support, others made PPE for NHS workers, or staffed vaccination centres.


The Community Spirit project will celebrate these contributions, and the incredible community-building that took place across Leicestershire and Rutland.


“Volunteering during the pandemic changed my life,” Ruth said. “Helping at the foodbank gave me purpose during the lockdown.


"I have been so impressed by the care and community-mindedness of the volunteers I have met over the last two years. I wanted to commemorate their amazing work.”

Ruth has secured support from Arts Council England and Leicester City Council’s Community Ward Funding programmes to get the project off the ground.


Associate artist Mandeep Dhadialla is supporting her in recording volunteers’ stories online and at special events.


An example of one of the rosettes made for the Community Spirit project
One of the rosettes made for the project

Volunteers are also being invited to craft a rosette to celebrate their contribution. This can be done at one of the upcoming events or at home with a free materials pack from the team.


The rosettes will be combined by the artists into a final artwork to be displayed at community venues across the region in the autumn.


After the touring exhibition, the rosettes will be given to nominated volunteers as a keepsake to recognise their special contribution during the pandemic.

If you volunteered during the pandemic and would like to get involved, Ruth wants to hear from you!

As part of Volunteers' Week (June 1-7) The Community Spirit of Leicestershire will be running events at the following locations.

Woodgate Community Foodbank

125 Bonchurch St, Leicester LE3 5EG

Sunday, June 5, 10am-12pm

Beaumont Leys Library

Beaumont Way, Leicester, LE4 1DS

Tuesday, June 7, 10am-12pm

Voluntary Action LeicesterShire

5 Newarke Street, Leicester, LE1 5SN

Thursday, June 9, 6pm-8pm

 

Written by Tom Young

Tom is a feature writer for Niche Magazine. He has a degree in Creative Writing and over a decade of experience working in comedy and theatre as the founder of improv group, The Same Faces. He writes about what's on, interesting people, and local events.