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Men’s Health Week Launches: Covid Diaries entries encouraged to create a piece of Leeds’ history

This year’s Men’s Health Week (15-21 June 2020) theme is “Take Action on Covid-19”. Men are being encouraged to take action to get the best out of lockdown and the new normal as well as being encouraged to beat underlying conditions.

Leeds City Council, CEG and Yorkshire Evening Post have launched an initiative aimed at capturing reflections, stories and experiences during the coronavirus pandemic.

The initiative aims to capture reflections and stories from as many people as possible in what is thought to be the only project of its type underway across the district.

The Covid Diaries project welcomes written and video diary entries, blogs, social media posts, photos, artwork, poems and songs via its website www.coviddiaries.co.uk.

Public submissions will also be collected so Leeds Museums and Galleries can look at how they could be used to help support any future displays and exhibitions exploring people’s experiences of the pandemic.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said: “These past few months have presented the people of Leeds with extraordinary challenges and changes to every facet of their daily lives and the compassion, resilience and adaptability they have shown in meeting those challenges is a true credit to the city.

“In the midst of all that is happening, it’s important that we take a step back and recognise the impact the pandemic has had on each of us and how it has affected us collectively and individually. By giving people this chance to document their stories and experiences, together we can create a lasting record of this extraordinary chapter in the story of Leeds.”

Men from around Leeds have already put pen to paper, taken pictures and shot films, submitting these entries to the project which launched last month.

Jonathan Morgan writes about how his life has changed from running a busy business to volunteering with his family at St Vincent’s and Holbeck Together, delivering food and support to isolated, vulnerable people.

Jonathan Morgan and Family

Meshech Richards (30) from Leeds submitted a video diary which talks about the importance of maintaining a positive mindset and keeping active during lockdown. He has also used his time to support the Black Lives Matters movement, a subject close to his heart.

Meshech Richards, 30, Video Diary

Jonny White (26) from Headingley submitted a short film entitled “Desolate Leeds: A City in Lockdown” which portrays the silence of Leeds during the pandemic and Tony Scott has submitted a poem, entitled Social Distance…

Poem by Tony Scott

People who wish to participate can contribute on a one-off basis or regularly. All documents will be stored securely and some may be shared on social media.

The website where submissions can be made launched on Friday 1st May 2020. Further information on the project and how to submit entries can be found at www.coviddiaries.co.uk and the project can be followed on Instagram via @covid__diaries and Twitter/ Facebook via @Covid__Diaries.

Head of sales and marketing at CEG, Aisling Ramshaw, said: “As Men’s Health Week launches we are encouraging people to share their experiences. Stress and anxiety are normal, particularly in these difficult times, but expressing your feelings and sharing your experiences with others can be incredibly cathartic.

“The Covid Diaries project provides the perfect opportunity to share news, coping mechanisms or your stories, either through film clips, images or the written word, helping to contribute to a piece of Leeds’ history.”

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