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Final Reflections

Council leader Louise Gittins looks back on our Covid-19 Reflections project and invites you to reflect along with us.

On 3 March, Marie Curie is holding the fourth Day of Reflection, encouraging people to come together to remember those who died during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Covid-19 Reflections is our project that has offered spaces and opportunities for residents to think back on their experiences during the pandemic.

The project created many events and exhibitions including one by the Filament Theatre Company, who worked with Vivo service users and staff. The project collected, recorded and shared conversations about lived experiences with the tour of their installation The Exchange.

Filament Theatre Company in a workshop with Vivo service users and staff

Artist Jayne Lawless worked with residents and a foodbank based at Westminster Community Centre, in Ellesmere Port. Her project collected local stories and by working with an illustrator, writer and podcast producer they created a range of work that looks at how the pandemic has altered society and its structures.

Open Eye Gallery led a photography project, commissioning photographers Ciara Leeming, Sam Ivin and Tadgh Devlin who worked with Gypsy and Traveller communities, carers, and rural communities to listen to and retell their stories.

A photo by Ciara Leeming as part of her work with Gypsy and Traveller communities

We now have six areas of reflection – Castle Park in Frodsham, Grosvenor Park in Chester, Winsford Marina, Stanney Fields Park, Neston, Whitby Park, Ellesmere Port, and Marbury Park in Northwich.

"Time passes and memories can dim but through Reflections we can mark this period in our history and share the experiences with future generations."

I was delighted to be asked to be part of the Reflections in a series of podcasts that are all now live on the Covid-19 Reflections website. Time passes and memories can dim but through Reflections we can mark this period in our history and share the experiences with future generations.

We wanted to make sure that communities had opportunities to reflect on and share their experiences and feel that this was delivered in a way which they – you – owned.

My podcast story reflects on the very beginning of Covid and how scary it was. This was fear of the unknown – not knowing how many people could be infected. But our communities came together to look after each other, including setting up foodbanks. One positive coming out of this time were our Community Champions who helped to share information about the virus. This group has continued after the pandemic and are still sharing information across their areas.

The Port Sketch Club continues

What happens next? Well, there are still a few commissions to be completed, not least this spring we can look forward to seeing the results of bulb planting across the borough. There are further exhibitions planned and I’m pleased to say that the Port Sketch Club, set up during the Reflections project, will continue at Theatre Porto. Where possible a record of the programme will be preserved within the archives of the Borough for future generations to look back at this time when so much changed for people in Cheshire West.

I’d like to thank everyone who has taken part in these reflections, both as a contributor and as part of the audience, many of us have experienced the same or similar experiences as those that have shared their stories. The Covid 19 Reflections website includes various stories and videos during the year-long project - please take the time to explore it and reflect along with us.

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