In this time of self-isolation, we are all probably feeling like it is time for some positive news. You might have seen recently on Leeds Uni Tickets, Instagram or Facebook about how LUU Art Society were delivering art supplies to improve wellbeing and encourage creativity of students in self-isolation.
Catherine Reader, the President of the Art Society, told The Gryphon that they did it because they “wanted to celebrate the end of the year with a party’ and they’ve ‘really loved this year and grown a lot as a community’.
However, when this party was due to not go ahead given the escalating number of cases of coronavirus in the country, the society decided to use the money that would have gone towards that to purchase art supplies including sketchbooks and brushes.
Initially starting out the scheme expecting less than 20 requests, by Monday last week they had received requests for over 100 people. As a result, the team have been cycling and walking around Leeds over the past week, delivering these packages on doorsteps to anyone who has requested one.
In the end, they managed to deliver to over 100 people before the committee was forced to end the scheme on Friday
The scheme has generated national media attention with the committee even being interviewed on BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat. Catherine appeared on ITV News too. A sketchbook company, Silvine UK, also posted over 100 sketchbooks to help LUU Art Soc out.
Speaking to us last week, Reader said they “are really up against time” as people ‘may be forced to leave Leeds or self isolated and we were planning to go home for the holidays’. Indeed while the delivery of packs has now finished, the Art Society is still hosting challenges throughout this week including using a biro and drawing upside down.
When asked about the response they had, Reader said
‘People have been so touched by it and many have expressed concerns about how their mental health will fare in this really tough time. Mental health services were already under so much strain and now it feels like we are going to have to cope without support so we are really glad we are doing something to help even if it is small.’
In these uncertain times, it is schemes like this which are incredibly important. Many will have concerns about how their mental health might fare during this time, but every small offering of support will help.
Art is a great way to improve well-being, and during periods of self-isolation, it will give people the chance to create things for themselves. It’s stories like this which we need to spread, and perhaps one positive to come out of it will be seeing people’s creativity flourish.
A big well done to LUU Art Society for doing this. If you would like to get involved with their society, you can connect them via their Facebook page here or their Instagram here..