Life in Lockdown: a Time Capsule in Print

Life in Lockdown: a Time Capsule in Print

The story begins with lockdown and the question…

‘how was our organisation, whose ethos is the importance of connecting communities, now going to provide support to people who needed it now more than ever’?

My name is Charlotte and not long after lockdown I hit on an idea that was met with excited whoops from my colleague Rachel, fully embraced by colleagues Natalie and Bryony and the rest of the Derbyshire Voluntary Action team.

As an organisation Derbyshire Voluntary Action proudly supports hundreds of voluntary sector organisations and community groups. We are passionate about championing the work of the community and its volunteers. We are incredibly proud of our strong working relationship with Public Health, NHS, local businesses, and our funders. With this in mind we feel truly able to make a powerful book that represents how our community has responded to the Covid-19 Coronavirus Crisis.

Through our work as Derbyshire Voluntary Action we have built relationships with some amazingly creative and talented people. We are lucky enough to have these people join us on this journey, please continue reading, and we hope you decide to become a part of this amazing project.  

As the weeks passed the death toll rose, fear in people’s voices evident and the mood increasingly sombre, communities took to social media to express themselves in the most creative of ways; drawing and painting for the first time since they were at school, song writing and performing to raise money, writing reflective pieces and generally chatting about how they were feeling, asking ‘does anyone else feel like I do’?

It struck me that our materialistic somewhat selfish ‘I’m alright Jack’ complacency had given way to a deep sense of responsibility towards others, an overwhelming need to feel connected, not forgotten and cared about. From this, the idea of a book was born, a place to capture that depth of feeling through art, crafting, photography, poetry and story-telling, giving us all a purpose, a reason to stay connected and a common goal.

The young, the elderly, volunteers, health care workers, survivors of Covid-19 and the bereaved… everyone has their own unique story that deserves to be told and preserved for future generations. Volunteers can put in to words why they felt compelled to give their time, how attitudes have changed towards the community they live in and what next? How small businesses have adapted and been hugely resourceful in order to survive but in many cases became a crucial life line for local people. Photographs capturing special moments of hand clapping, rainbows in the windows, VE day celebrations on the drive, emotional reunions and exhausted masked care workers. The first-hand accounts of Covid-19 survivors and the agony of relatives unable to bring comfort to loved ones. 

‘Giving back to those who have given so much’

We aim to publish a book titled ‘Life in Lockdown’ documenting the Covid-19 Pandemic as seen through the eyes of residents of Chesterfield and surrounding areas.

The 200 page coffee table style book will be for sale to the public with the proceeds going towards support local charities or the community.

“It’s our way of giving back to the community whilst singing the praises of those unsung heroes”

We aim to sell the book online, in local shops and museums. If you were interested in submitting to the book please read the guidance on our website

To make this a reality we are hoping to raise £10,000 to cover our publishing, marketing and distribution costs for the initial run of 500 copies.   

You can help by:

1. Donating £1 or what you can afford at

2. Sharing on social media #lifeinlockdownchesterfield

3. Emailing this page to family and friends

Don’t forget the proceeds of this book will go to our local community.

Be instrumental in not only preserving history for future generations, but at this time of need, help provide a therapeutic outlet and something for us all to look forward to… EVERYONE can be a part of this journey.

Charlotte Higgins
Community Coordinator
07907 484835