A WRITER and illustrator is appealing for help to compile a booklet about life in Ryhope during lockdown.

Liz Million is working with award-winning arts project The Cultural Spring and Ryhope Community Centre through funding secured from Sunderland City Council’s East Area Committee and Arts Council England, to create the booklet which will include poems, drawings and stories.

Liz is a familiar sight in Wearside schools, where she visits to talk about art and teaches drawing.

“A few years ago I was involved in a project with Ryhope Community Centre which produced a wonderful inter-generational book called I Remember When, and I now want to create another book to talk about lockdown. It has been a very unusual and strange year and I want people to tell me about their experiences using pictures, poems or words,” Liz explained.

“Ryhope is a particular favourite place of mine, I met so many wonderful people when we were creating I Remember When and I found out what resilient and upbeat people live in the village – even in the face of uncertain times, and I really want to capture that.

“I’m delighted to have been asked by The Cultural Spring and Ryhope Community Centre to capture people’s experiences of the past few months– but we won’t have a booklet without people sending me their contributions. So I want to hear from the people of Ryhope.

“I want to know what Covid times mean to you – what happened in lockdown, how were you feeling? You can be honest and write a frank poem about how you were feeling, or you can write an upbeat one. They can be serious, thought-provoking funny or sad, anything you want.

“You might want to think back to the beginning of lockdown and how different it was, or you might want to write or draw a picture about you going back to school, or work.

“You can write from your own perspective or write as someone else, perhaps as a key worker, an elderly neighbour or even a family pet! Don’t worry if you enjoyed lockdown – tell us all about the games you played and what else you did,” said Liz, from Darlington.

“I also want to hear about what you missed during lockdown – was it hugs, disco dancing, going to concerts or the theatre, or holidays?”

Emma Horsman, Project Director of The Cultural Spring, said: “The national lockdown earlier this year is a time we will all remember differently. I think a booklet that records people’s experiences and memories is a lovely idea and we hope as many Ryhope villagers – young and old – will contribute.”

Send your stories, poems or pictures to Liz at  ryhopewriting@gmail.com by the deadline of November 27.

To hear more about the lockdown booklet, visit The Cultural Spring’s website at www.theculturalspring.org.uk and watch Liz’s video.

The Cultural Spring is funded by Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places project and its four partners are the University of Sunderland; the Customs House, South Shields, Sunderland’s Music, Arts and Culture (MAC) Trust and Sangini, a women’s health organisation.