TAMESIDE residents are being encouraged to share their experiences of lockdown life as part of a new social project to tackle isolation and anxiety.
The Ripple project will use film, social and digital media to gather local people’s shared and contrasting experiences of the covid pandemic and use them in performances, exhibitions and events to forge new friendships and bonds, help combat loneliness and build community resilience, reconnection and recovery.
Tameside Council, supported by GMCA Culture, has commissioned Mossley based GW Theatre Company to deliver the pilot project as part of the ongoing Tameside Loves Reading campaign, which aims to promote a love and enjoyment of reading and improve literacy skills for children, young people and adults. If successful, the Ripple project could be rolled out to other Greater Manchester boroughs and possibly even nationwide.
Residents are being invited to get involved by submitting their stories and experiences of lockdown – from the ordinary to the extraordinary. To find out more see www.therippleproject.co.uk. Sample stories can be seen at https://www.facebook.com/spreadtheripple
Another element of the project, called Building Intergenerational Bridges, will see four secondary schools working in creative partnerships with care homes and elderly people living in their own homes to gather more stories and experiences. It is hoped this partnership will establish long term connections and explore how new technology and media can be used to help move older and young people out of isolation and loneliness.
The project will culminate in a vibrant performance installation and exhibition event to mark one year of lockdown on 23 March 2021. The event will include the launch of a digital story archive called The Story of Lockdown as part of a multi-sensory experience featuring film, live performance, poetry, music, digital media and visual art. It may then be toured across Greater Manchester and to other partner areas.
Tameside Council Executive Member for Lifelong learning Cllr Leanne Feeley said: “This year has been a challenging time for everyone but I’m really proud of the resilience and sense of community shared by Tameside people, which is helping to get us through. The Ripple project is a great way of capturing these unique times as well as the fantastic sense of community spirit and belonging we share in the borough. It is also a safe and exciting way of bringing us together to help tackle the isolation and anxiety that so many of us are feeling during these unprecedented times. I encourage everyone to take part.”