Since Autumn 2020 the Hunslet Intiative have been exploring creative ways of connecting local people from different generations to help reduce the isolation of older individuals. It has also helped children become aware of other people’s situations and learn from their life experiences.
The project has been funded through the Haribo Happiness Fund with the support of Leeds Community Foundation. Haribo has been a family run business for over 100 years and they are passionate about bringing people together to share moments of childlike happiness.
Despite inevitable challenges due to the every changing Covid landscape activities so far have included Christmas and Easter card exchanges as well as various activity packs provided for children to get crafty and (safely) share their creations with older family members or neighbours.
Ben Hutchinson, Project Leader at the Hunslet Initiative, tells us more. He comments:
“At Christmas we helped a group of kids share a seasonal message with older residents. We provided everything needed and took responsibility for dropping the cards, pictures, and letters to the recipients making sure everyone remained Covid safe.
“The feedback we received was astounding! One of our youngsters, who had found it difficult to adapt to the impact of Covid, wrote such a sweet letter to a lady that had been alone since March. It certainly raised a smile and perhaps a tear, as we were told of the kindness that had been detailed in the card.”
The final phase hopes to capture a glimpse of the lockdown experiences and reflections from a broad range of people across Hunslet and Belle Isle. We have developed both an online survey and a paper worksheet which are quick and easy to complete. We would welcome participation from anyone within our community and invite you to follow the link to complete the survey here.
If you prefer to complete the paper worksheet version please contact Ben Hutchinson on 07419 366058. Responses will be gathered throughout August and compiled in to some form of presentation to be shared in the Autumn.
For more information on the project and the ongoing work of the Hunslet Initiative please visit our Facebook page- www.facebook.com/thehunsletinitiative