Sefton Comedy HUB, detailed instructions of how to make an origami squirrel and Community by Nature play packs are among the re-profiled Sefton Borough of Culture 2020 projects going ahead in the face of Covid-19.

Members of Sefton Council’s Borough of Culture 2020 team worked swiftly with local arts, culture and community groups with successful grant applicants to adapt their projects for digital delivery. The aim is to enable people to enjoy and take part in the activities online or by post.

The Borough of Culture team awarded over £15,000 of one-off grants for cultural activities at the heart of its communities. The outbreak of the coronavirus meant successful bidders working closely with the council and its partners to change tack, while still creating fun, engaging things to do for residents everywhere.

Launched already via Facebook, Sefton Comedy Hub is a chance for local residents to submit clips of themselves telling their favourite joke, recalling amusing anecdotes and humorous stories and reciting funny poems and comedy impressions.

Hosted by local comedian Bren Riley, the project is for people of all ages and ‘clean’ clips should be submitted to the page. There will be weekly feedback on the clips and e-vouchers provided for the funniest clips.

People will also be able to register to play Bingo via Zoom through the Sefton Comedy Hub Facebook Page. Tickets for the six sessions will be emailed to local residents and e-vouchers will be given as prizes.

Find out more about the Sefton Comedy Hub.

Through Origami Pulse, people will be able to follow a detailed video showing them how to make their very own red squirrel from folded paper. People will be invited to share pictures their squirrels online and these pictures will be used to create a large artwork at the Atkinson later in the year.

In conjunction with Venus, Community by Nature will be working with three artists to develop three ‘Playing In’ packs for vulnerable families, least likely to have access to art-making materials at home during the Covid-19 restrictions. Provided with food parcels, the packs will provide free, fun ways for families to enjoy themselves at home and to keep children occupied.

Downloadable versions of artist-designed play activities will also be available for wider use by anyone across the Borough as well as video and online workshops introducing creative play ideas via Facebook and Instagram. People will also be able to submit memories of games they have played in the past and photographs showing people playing out.

Birkdale Community Hub and will be running a photography competition that will see residents invited to take photographs of their gardens or what they can see out of their windows while they spend this time at home. Participants will be able to submit their snaps via email and social media and there will be a future exhibition at the HUB.

Through SING Plus, older people in the community who do not have access to the internet or social media will be provided with materials and maps to chronicle their recollections of Sefton. The memory boxes they create will be used as part of the local archive held at Crosby library.

Also, SING Plus will see young people asked to keep a diary of their thoughts and daily life at the present time and the effect of the current situation is having on them and their families. Activity boxes and snacks will also be provided for the young people taking part.

After the Covid-19 crisis is over both groups, old and young, will meet up after the need for social distancing has ended, to share memories.

Words of Wisdom is an inspirational project that will see young people being encouraged to keep in touch with the elderly community around them, online and through social media, as well as using simple pen, paper and telephone.

With the help of their parents and carers, the young people will be asking their elderly neighbours, family and friends to share their words of wisdom based on a lifetime of stories and experience. The best 100 lines of wisdom on topics such as family, fun, friendship, finance, fears, fulfilment, farewells, fitness and the future will be captured in a book as part of the legacy of the Sefton Borough of Culture 2020. People can find out more about Words of Wisdom by contacting Peter Hawkins at The Windmills Foundation on 01704 874 903 or pete@windmillsonline.co.uk.

Through Aintree Racecourse Sefton’s Borough of Culture 2020 Grand Poetry Competition, budding young poets are being asked to get creative and tell us what they are missing.

Entries are being invited for the 4 to 8-year-old, 9 to 12-year-old and 13 years and above categories and winners will win family tickets to Aintree Racecourse’s Family Day in October and Liverpool’s Day or Grand National Day in 2021. This follows the recent unveiling of the spectacular Red Rum wall mural in Southport, commissioned by the Sefton Borough of Culture programme and painted by Paul Curtis, to celebrate the three-time winner in the town in which he lived and trained.

Poems’ subject should be about something or someone they love, miss or find amazing. Poems, with a maximum of 200 words, should be handwritten and decorated and sent to GrandPoetry@thejockeyclub.co.uk in an emailed which includes the child’s full name and age.

Cllr Trish Hardy Sefton Council’s main Borough of Culture sponsor said: “At this time when it’s so important that people maintain social distancing to beat Covid-19, I am delighted that our Borough of Culture 2020 team has been able to work with these arts, culture and community groups to develop projects that will help lift local people’s spirits and provide fun things for people of all ages to do.

“I look forward to seeing all the creativity contained in our local communities expressed and on display through this exciting range of projects.

“Taking culture to people’s homes, phones, laptops and tablets, they have created exciting activities that will keep people entertained and go a long way to helping them cope during periods of isolation, whether alone or as a family.”

Revitalise during COVID-19