Booklet reveals lockdown through the eyes of children

Participating pupils read through their own copies of the Kintyre Pupils Lockdown booklet.
Participating pupils read through their own copies of the Kintyre Pupils Lockdown booklet.

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The Rotary Club of Campbeltown has provided a unique insight into children’s experiences of life in lockdown.

Constantly praised for the inspirational way they coped with restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic, Kintyre’s schoolchildren have finally been given a voice to reveal how they really felt, through a 76-page booklet.

With the pandemic impacting the Rotary’s own events and fundraising activities, and a few members having been involved in education, the club embarked on the children’s lockdown book project as it could be organised while adhering to restrictions.

Community and International Service Convenor Gail Edwards, who spearheaded the project, said: ‘As a primary teacher, now retired, I was aware that children often have a different outlook on life from adults and we agreed it would be a worthwhile community project to involve the pupils.’

Gail sent emails to all schools in Campbeltown and surrounding areas, inviting pupils to share their views and experiences through any means – stories, poems, cartoons, drawings etc.

After a slow start, the Rotary was inundated with submissions which took them on an emotional rollercoaster as they recounted the youngsters’ lockdown highs and lows.

The project proved to be a labour of love; it took months to collect and collate all the pupils’ stories and pictures, and when some of the hand-written stories couldn’t be scanned effectively, the Rotarians word-processed those documents so they could still be shared.

‘It then took another few months researching who could print a book at a reasonable cost,’ Gail said.

‘Jason McCallum from Keeping It Local came to our rescue. After painstakingly doing hours of scanning and a few reprints, he produced the Kintyre Pupils Lockdown booklet.’

All the pupils who contributed to the book have received their own free copy and their schools have been given one to keep for posterity.

Gail said the response to the book from participating schools has been ‘very positive’, with the children not only thrilled to see their own work published but keen to find out how other pupils coped.

Staff said they also benefitted from gaining an insight into pupils’ experiences, which caused them both laughter and tears.

Rotary Club of Campbeltown President Pat Healey, also a retired teacher who now works in pupil support, said: ‘We were overwhelmed by the response. The Kintyre Pupils Lockdown booklet is a very moving account of lockdown as seen through children’s eyes. The effect on our children throughout this lockdown has been immense.’

Copies of the Kintyre Pupils Lockdown booklets are now on sale for £10 at Keeping It Local, Main Street, Campbeltown.

The small profit from each book will go towards fundraising for local children’s charities.

‘In years to come I hope the pupils, friends and family will appreciate and look back at how we all coped and helped each other as a community going through the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown in 2020/2021,’ Gail said.

‘The Rotary Club of Campbeltown would like to say a huge thank you to the pupils and dedicated staff who were involved in helping to make the booklet such a success.’