A neighbour smiles and waves through a curtained window

Snappy project eases loneliness. Photo by Mavis Dunford.

While loneliness was at an all time high, one County Durham project found a snappy way to make people smile.

Handing out disposable cameras to care home residents and carers, Wideyed then encouraged people to record their lockdown experiences for an exhibition called ‘Home Time.’

‘Home Time’ was funded through the Community Arts and Culture Grants Programme, managed by County Durham Community Foundation.

Meals for one, friendly chickens, neighbours stopping to say ‘hi’, hobbies and pets were all captured on camera by people living through the pandemic in their own way.

The final exhibition also included portraits by Nat Wilkins from Wideyed.

Nat said: “We wanted to celebrate ordinary people who do extraordinary things. At first we thought of taking portraits of frontline workers with their uniforms on. But those images were everywhere and instead we decided to celebrate those people for who they are outside of work.

Louise Taylor from Wideyed said: “We met some really special people who were very positive despite the circumstances. One lady was confined to her floor in the nursing home because of Covid outbreaks but she said she was quite happy looking out of the window and watching the clouds go by.

“With disposable cameras you never know what you’re going to get back so it was a bit of a risk. But some people were just naturally very talented in the way they put together little scenes or captured a moment.”

The ‘Home Time’ exhibition was displayed at The Witham, in Barnard Castle, and the Town Hall in St John’s Chapel. The exhibition will be displayed at Willington Open Door Methodist Church from August 16th to 22nd.