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Time capsule to preserve memories of COVID-19 community spirit

PUBLISHED: 13:09 30 April 2020 | UPDATED: 13:10 30 April 2020

Thetford residents are being invited to submit memories of life during coronavirus lockdown for a time capsule. Pictured is Erin Lawler with Aiybriah, Enara-Jade and Madison Margrie. Picture: Billie Lawler

Thetford residents are being invited to submit memories of life during coronavirus lockdown for a time capsule. Pictured is Erin Lawler with Aiybriah, Enara-Jade and Madison Margrie. Picture: Billie Lawler

Archant

In years to come, the coronavirus pandemic will be looked back on as a time of crisis, but also a period when community spirit came to the fore.

Billie Lawler and friends came up with the idea of inviting Thetford residents to submit memories of life during coronavirus lockdown for a time capsule. Picture: Gail EvansBillie Lawler and friends came up with the idea of inviting Thetford residents to submit memories of life during coronavirus lockdown for a time capsule. Picture: Gail Evans

And, in a bid to celebrate the kindness and positivity that has dominated communities, people in Thetford are being invited to submit their personal memories of life in lockdown for a time capsule.

The idea was the brainchild of Billie Lawler and her friends, Sharon and Samantha Thompson, who wanted to give the town’s children something to focus on during unprecedented circumstances.

Since the project’s launch, residents have been sending in messages, drawings and photos, all encapsulating the togetherness that has shone through in recent weeks.

MORE: ‘The village is ideally placed to get through this’ - how one place is coping in lockdown

Sharon Thompson and friends came up with the idea of inviting Thetford residents to submit memories of life during coronavirus lockdown for a time capsule. Picture: Billie LawlerSharon Thompson and friends came up with the idea of inviting Thetford residents to submit memories of life during coronavirus lockdown for a time capsule. Picture: Billie Lawler

The trio of friends are also encouraging people to fill out booklets which document their personalities and interests at the time of lockdown.

Miss Lawler, who works at Charles Burrell Centre, said: “At the moment it’s difficult for children to understand what this is all about, but this is our way of saying well done to them.

“We are thinking that, in 10 years’ time, we will open up the capsule. Children will be young adults by then and will be able to look back on this with a very different perspective.

“It has been amazing to see the response from the community over the past few weeks, helping each other and checking on their neighbours. There are far more community-minded people than we realised.”

MORE: Bakers invited to submit favourite lockdown creations for charity recipe book

Miss Lawler says the capsule will be stored rather than buried, with Thetford-based Ancient House Museum expressing an interest in providing a safe place.

In the meantime, contributors are being encouraged to submit their memories by dropping them off at either Charles Burrell Centre, Pine Close Community Centre or with Miss Lawler at 54 Castle Street.

Once social distancing measures have been eased, a party and handover ceremony will be held to celebrate the capsule’s completion.

“When lockdown is over we will set a date for the party and all those who have contributed will be invited,” added Miss Lawler.

“We are contacting all kinds of groups, just so as many people as possible know what we are doing and can get involved. We want to make this as much about the whole community as it can be.”

Visit ‘Thetford’s Time Capsule’ on Facebook to find out more.

• For the latest COVID-19 news, visit the Norfolk Coronavirus Updates Facebook page.

• You can also subscribe to our daily coronavirus newsletter, providing all the latest from where you live.


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