East Renfrewshire residents urged to share experiences during Year of Stories

East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure is launching a new arts, library and heritage project, encouraging local people to reflect on and share their pandemic experiences.

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Local studies librarian Amanda Robb hopes that the interviews and writing gathered through the Beyond 2020: Community Reflections project will preserve the local Covid history and be added to the collection
Local studies librarian Amanda Robb hopes that the interviews and writing gathered through the Beyond 2020: Community Reflections project will preserve the local Covid history and be added to the collection

As part of Scotland's Year of Stories 2022, the project Beyond 2020: Community Reflections invites people from across East Renfrewshire to reconnect with one another and participate in library, arts and heritage activities.

The trust now seeks volunteers to support the project along with participants willing to tell their stories and be part of leaving a shared legacy for future generations.

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Local studies librarian Amanda Robb said: "The pandemic will shape and impact our society for many years to come. Beyond 2020: Community Reflections will allow people across East Renfrewshire to share their own lived stories of this significant event through an oral history project.

"We want local people in East Renfrewshire to be at the heart of this project. We aim to gather community stories from people from all backgrounds and anticipate there will be a range of personal stories to be told, some of sorrow, loss and hardship but others of hope and resilience.

"Perhaps you were a frontline worker or furloughed, homeschooled your children or lived alone, enjoyed more time outdoors or changed something in your life as a result of the pandemic. If you'd like to share your experience we'd be very keen to hear from you.

"As well as preserving the local Covid story, the interviews and writing gathered through this project will be the inspiration for a photographic exhibition which will travel around East Renfrewshire venues in the latter half of 2022 and be open to all."

Volunteers are invited to attend professional oral history training sessions on March 1 and 8, while creative writing workshops will also be available, encouraging participants to put pen to paper and reflect on their experiences.

To volunteer and receive more information about the oral history training sessions or if you have a story or experience to share through the project and are aged 18+, email [email protected] or call 0141 577 3872. For more information visit https://www.ercultureandleisure.org/year-of-stories-oral-history-training/.

More information on creative writing workshops will follow soon, but you can note your interest in these sessions by emailing [email protected]