Schoolchildren across the north-east are locking away memories of coronavirus in time capsules and sending them into the future so that their grandchildren can discover what the pandemic was like to live through.
Schools across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire are taking part in the Press & Journal and Evening Express’ Time Capsule Project, which will collect mementoes of lockdown and store them away for future generations.
Classrooms across the area are now submitting work to be included in the two capsules – one in Aberdeen, the other in Aberdeenshire.
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.
Frank O’Donnell, editor-in-chief of The Press & Journal, said: “The coronavirus has touched the lives of everyone and the Time Capsule Project is a way to give a voice to the children who lived through it.
“When future generations look back at the extraordinary times, the contents of these time capsules will provide a fascinating glimpse into the minds of our young people.”
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.
Evening Express editor Craig Walker said: “I can’t wait to see what the youngsters come up with. We hear a lot in the news about what adults and politicians think about the pandemic, but not a lot from the children’s perspective.
“Hopefully Time Capsule Project will give them a voice – not just now, but long into the future.”
Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokeswoman Marie Boulton said: “We are living through truly historic times. The Covid-19 pandemic is reshaping our relationship with technology, the environment – and, of course, with each other.
“It has been a humbling experience but also an uplifting one. I have proudly watched council staff, our partners and communities support our most vulnerable residents and the resilience and compassion of our youngsters.
“The Time Capsule Project will provide a fascinating snapshot of the pandemic’s impact, and Aberdeen City Council is pleased to be supporting it.”
Jim Savege, chief executive of Aberdeenshire Council, said “The past 13 months have been extremely difficult for many individuals, families, communities, businesses and other organisations, and of course the impact of all this on children and young people has been significant.
“We’re pleased to be championing this campaign which provides a creative outlet for young people to express themselves and share their experiences with future generations. We look forward to seeing the contributions gathered by schools across Aberdeenshire.”
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, marking the end of the Time Capsule Project.