Christmas Creativity: making festive hampers for East Leeds

“The single most beautiful thing about literature is that it allows people to connect through shared experiences. Every time a writer puts their work out there, they are extending their hand to a reader through the page, and forging a connection. These connections are particularly important in 2020, when so many people have struggled through long periods of isolation – and particularly at Christmas, which is a time to be most thankful for what we have in the world.”

Let’s face it: this Christmas will be far from ordinary.

From drinks with friends around a roaring open fire, to games with family in a lovingly crowded living room, the festive period is easily the best part of winter for many people. For some, it’s the highlight of the whole year. Sadly, in 2020 we’ll have to endure a long winter without the people most important in our lives.

But bleakness is a great place to dream.

While creativity can’t replace the company of your loved ones, it can transcend your surroundings and provide some inspiration that can see you through these dark times.

Natalie Davies of Space2 with Found Fiction’s Steve Clarkson

That’s why we’ve teamed up with Space2 to make creative Christmas packs for families in Leeds.

Each pack includes creative prompts and #foundfiction stories – similar to the East Leeds Gift Exchange project we worked on in the summer. The Christmas packs have gone out to over 300 families spanning Gipton, Seacroft, Richmond Hill, Harehills, Meanwood and Chapeltown.

Space2 is an award-winning creative charity working in the heart of East Leeds to engage communities in arts and social change. The charity’s aim is to empower communities, improve wellbeing and tackle social isolation – creating a sustainable and hopeful future.

Several of our writers created Christmas-themed short stories which were included in the packs, following our call for entries. They were Geraldine Montgomerie, Angela Huskisson, Elizabeth Hopkinson, and Marion Cobban.