Free boredom-busting Lockdown Challenge packs for hundreds of Leeds families

Hundreds of  families across south Leeds are being invited to take part in free boredom-busting lockdown challenges  during the coronavirus crisis.

Thursday, 14th May 2020, 6:00 am
Lockdown challenge volunteers Emily Duff and Luke Gaillet with some of the 700 free packs deliveved to families in south Leeds.

Volunteers are helping the community partnership Leeds Citizens to deliver 700 Lockdown Challenge packs to households in areas including Beeston, Holbeck and Hunslet.

Families are being set daily challenges on themes including exercise, gardening, craft, cooking, creative writing, art, and yoga and relaxation.

The packs contain all the resources and materials and basic arts and craft materials needed to take part.

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The challenge aims to break the monotony of the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, spark creativity, reduce stress, and promote wellbeing in the community.

The first pack, - which has been sent out this week - includes a sunflower growing competition, cooking and baking activities, making a sundial and a rain gauge, inspiration or mindful relaxation and instructions for daily sport challenges.

Mobilised by Leeds Citizens, staff and volunteers from a wide range of organisations have pulled together and contributed their time and ideas, volunteers, venues, resources, and more.

Primary school teacher Emily Duff, of Beeston, who is volunteering with the project, said: "I've lived in Beeston for nearly two years now, but this project has done more than anything else to show just how many people and groups there are who love this community - more and more came out of the woodwork to help.

"Being part of this project has allowed me to try things I've never done before. It was really great to feel like my contribution was appreciated and useful even when I was doing everything on my own at home.

"I hope the families who use the packs also feel like they are appreciated as part of the community, even if they never meet the people behind the scenes.

Yvonne Ugarte, a poet and contributor to the challenge, said: “I have found poetry a real source of strength and happiness over the years and hope that local children and young people can get a bit of joy out of getting in touch with their creative sides.

"It’s so great to see so many people and organisations coming together to support families in our community in this way, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

Claire Whitely, manager of the Involve Centre in Hunslet and project partner said: "We have increasing concerns for some of our service users, who are lonely, anxious, feel forgotten,

or have real fear about the impact of the virus.

"Some of our community were managing, but now, with their support networks being locked down, they are increasingly feeling alone and emotionally vulnerable.

"Our response needs to be holistic to care for everyone in our community - we are all interdependent and our care needs to be for hearts and minds as well as bodies.”

The Lockdown Challenge packs so far have been made possible thanks to support from a private funder, South Leeds Community Projects, Morrisons, Paul Kirk Design, and individual donations.

Leeds Citizens is fundraising to support the Lockdown Challenge so families can continue to receive Challenge packs while children are at home:

To donate, got to

If you want to run a Lockdown Challenge in your area, and want to be able to draw on the model developed in South Leeds, contact Becky Howcroft at: [email protected]

Leeds Citizens have been helped by volunteers from partners including Re-establish youth group; Life Experience; St Luke’s Church; Beeston Festival; Ingram Road Primary School; Jamyang Buddhist Centre; Slung Low; Beeston in Bloom; LS11 Mutual Aid group; Space Youth Group; the Salvation Army; Kidz Klub; St Mary’s Church; and Involve Hunslet.