Life changing – Solihull’s COVID stories


Can you spot a good story when you hear one?  Are you a good listener? Maybe you could write your own chapter of Solihull’s COVID story.

Solihull Council’s cultural programming team has come up with the idea of a living history, told by the community, for the community.

Now they are looking for researchers to collect local stories about COVID experiences.

They want to gather stories that explain the different ways people have found to make it through the last 18 months and build a big picture of just how the pandemic has affected everyone here.

The aim is to build a narrative of COVID to date - the period of lockdown, the losses, the changes in lives, capturing the community positives and spirit of hope.

Deputy Council Leader and Lead Member for Partnerships & Wellbeing and Leisure, Tourism & Sport, Councillor Karen Grinsell said:  “We will be turning these stories into a creative artistic project to engage the wider borough, as well as building up a social history snapshot of this unique period of time that we’ve all experienced.

“Anyone who lives, works or studies in Solihull Borough can apply to be part of the team – and you’ll need to suggest a group of people that you’d like to interview, it might be your extended family, people you work with or meet regularly, or your neighbours.

“If you don’t want to be a researcher but have a story you’d like to share, then we’ll be making opportunities for this to happen – so keep looking out for news.”

The council will train interviewers in the practicalities of audio recording.

Borough schools will be invited to encourage young people to take part and the team want to make sure a good cross-section of people and communities are involved.

Ideally they would like each researcher to plan to talk with around 10 people or families, with a guideline of around two hours per interview.

If you would like to nominate yourself to be one of our researchers, then just send an email to telling us a little bit about yourself and the community you’d like to research.

Applicants will be asked to complete a simple set of questions and return to the Council by 1 October.

Successful applicants will be contacted and given training in October, with the deadline for stories by the end of this year.