Two companies have joined forces to help north-east schoolchildren send mementoes of the coronavirus pandemic to their grandchildren.
Printing firm XIC and Odfjell Well Services have agreed create two futuristic-looking time capsules using parts from North Sea drilling equipment, as part of the Press & Journal and Evening Express initiative.
Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council are asking pupils in their schools to fill the capsules with items that best represent their lives in lockdown.
The Press and Journal and Evening Express are working alongside Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils.XIC and Odfjell Well Services, who are both based in Altens in Aberdeen, hope their work will store the items safely for decades.
Jason Moir, director at XIC, said his firm was keen to be involved in making sure children’s memories of the coronavirus crisis were preserved for future generations.
He said: “We like to be involved and help people so this is good way of giving back.
“Another of the reasons was to show we are a creative company. We are not just going to put something together with nice stickers we want to make something unique.
“The concept of the capsule is to make it look like it is drilling into the ground.”
Michal Piechocki, operations director at Odfjell Well Services, said they are “excited” to be part of the scheme.
He said: “I was really happy when I received a call from Jason asking if we would like to participate in the Time Capsule Project.
“Odfjell Drilling group aims to support the local communities where we operate, so the answer was easy. Using some spares from our warehouse, we have come up with some really original time capsules and we hope the children will have a good time with this project. I’m really excited to support alongside XIC.’’
What goes into the capsule is up to the children, but it should represent what it was like to be a youngster during the coronavirus pandemic.
That could be a song or piece of drama performed by the class and then saved on a memory card. Or it could be a diary entry, short story or poem. It could also be a piece of art or item that means something special.
Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils have sent Time Capsule Project packs to every school asking for submissions. Entries can only be submitted through schools.
Once all entries have been collected, a selection process will decide which entries make it into the capsules. It’s hoped at least one piece can be included from each school that takes part.
Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokeswoman said: “The time capsule project will give us a sense of what really matters to our young people in responding the pandemic’s impact. We have discovered new things about ourselves and the value of family, friends and neighbours as well as schools and other public services.
“There are so many stories to capture – stories of courage and hope, of smiles amid the darkness, stories that could signal the start of new ways of living – and I look forward to seeing what our youngsters bring forward.”
Laurence Findlay, director of education and children’s services for Aberdeenshire Council said: “It’s brilliant we have the support of local companies and that the time capsules will be designed in this way.
“The partnership approach reflects the ethos we have in schools in terms of our focus on community and business liaison. This creates learning opportunities for our young people as well as benefiting local individuals and organisations, and our Foundation Apprenticeship programme, for example, continues to go from strength to strength.”
The location of the times capsules is to be decided at a later date and schools have until May 28 to submit work to put inside them.
It’s hoped that, pandemic restrictions permitting, representatives from all the schools will be invited along to the special burial ceremony.