Film to explore how isolation goes beyond coronavirus lockdown

“The current lockdown has made us all much more aware of how it feels to be cut off from our friends, family and social lives, but sadly, for many people, being isolated and feeling alone isn’t a new experience.”

Esther Amis-Hughes, a youth engagement officer at Leeds Museum and Galleries, sets out the important message that a group of young people hope to get across with an animated film on mental health and isolation.

The Preservative Party, a team of 14 to 24-year-olds from across Leeds, are devising the animation to look at lockdown in the city and the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on local communities, individuals and families.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Yet, whilst they explore how residents have been coping with isolation, looking at the topic in the context of the current restrictions, group members are also keen to raise awareness about the fact that many people can experience physical, emotional and social isolation as part of their daily lives.

Read More
The 'natter benches' sparking conversation in Yorkshire to tackle loneliness

The Preservative Party, who work to plan and create displays at Leeds City Museum, have been working on a mental health exhibition for several months.

They designed the Open Minds project to tell the story of mental health in the city and have been researching and formulating displays looking at themes including treatment, language, trauma, body image and gender and sexuality.

Their finished animated film will be shared on social media and at the museum as part of the Open Minds displays, set to be installed once the attraction is able to re-open.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The group began bringing the display together earlier this year, looking at a variety of prominent mental health issues and how they affected different people’s lives,” Esther says.

“After the coronavirus pandemic was declared, the members were still really committed to the project. By working together online, they decided that isolation would be an important and relevant theme to explore as well as an opportunity to bring people together.

“We’d really like to hear from people who have something they want to share about isolation, whether it’s in the context of the current pandemic or something they’ve felt as a result of unemployment, starting university, growing up in care, being a new parent, or relocating.”

The group is working virtually to produce the animation with film company Digifish. The idea is that it will include several characters highlighting different isolation experiences and featuring suggestions of how people can support those feeling isolated.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Preservative Party member Lauren Theweneti says working on the project has been “really fulfilling and sometimes difficult”. “We decided to do a project on mental health to try and help break down the stigma surrounding the subject,” Lauren says.

“One in four people experience mental health issues each year and whilst we’re understanding some of the challenges now because of isolation, for some people they deal with these feelings every single day.

“It’s a really important subject matter to look at and Leeds has a long history with mental health.”

Anyone who wants to share an isolation story for potential use in the displays or film can do so either by name or anonymously by emailing [email protected]

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.

Almost certainly you are here because you value the quality and the integrity of the journalism produced by The Yorkshire Post’s journalists - almost all of which live alongside you in Yorkshire, spending the wages they earn with Yorkshire businesses - who last year took this title to the industry watchdog’s Most Trusted Newspaper in Britain accolade.

And that is why I must make an urgent request of you: as advertising revenue declines, your support becomes evermore crucial to the maintenance of the journalistic standards expected of The Yorkshire Post. If you can, safely, please buy a paper or take up a subscription. We want to continue to make you proud of Yorkshire’s National Newspaper but we are going to need your help.

Postal subscription copies can be ordered by calling 0330 4030066 or by emailing [email protected]. Vouchers, to be exchanged at retail sales outlets - our newsagents need you, too - can be subscribed to by contacting subscriptions on 0330 1235950 or by visiting where you should select The Yorkshire Post from the list of titles available.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

If you want to help right now, download our tablet app from the App / Play Stores. Every contribution you make helps to provide this county with the best regional journalism in the country.

Sincerely. Thank you.

James Mitchinson