This week, whilst checking the subtitling on a digitally remastered tape for the Resonate project, I started to reflect on the past twelve months. This time last year I had finished curating an exhibition of Norman Potter photographs for the Leonard Cheshire Archive. I had also prepared a talk about his life, which I was to give to a carers group. I was then going on holiday and on my return would be starting to work on transcribing tapes for the Resonate project.

Whilst on holiday, the country we were in went into lockdown and we were confined to our hotel rooms. A taste of things to come, as when we came home, it was straight into lockdown. The archive was closed, and all work was to be from home, something I wasn’t sure I could do.

I am not technically minded but with help from the Resonate project team, I managed to set up my computer so that I could fully participate in the project and have expanded my skills using Workplace for face-to-face meetings, learning how to transcribe and how to check captions on films using Vimeo.

Never have I been so grateful to dive into transcribing the stories told by people who worked with our Founder, the life stories of residents, recollections from people who knew Leonard Cheshire and also the speeches and recollections of Leonard Cheshire himself. They have been a positive influence on my well being throughout the lockdown and have taught me to make the most of the present.

Because of my disabilities, I am pretty much confined to the house when we are in full lockdown and when we went into the third lockdown it felt much harder to cope with. I think this is because of the dark nights and the bad weather. No garden to enjoy in wintertime and I was feeling pretty low. But the project had moved on a little and there were now films to check the subtitling on. I was asked did I wish to participate, and I said yes.

I am so pleased that I said yes as they are fascinating and as well as occupying my days they have entertained me and also shown me how our organisation has grown and evolved to meet the needs of disabled people.

I think it is fair to say that the Resonate project has been a beacon of hope for me during lockdown as it has been a colourful diversion and the end result will be that the stories will be preserved and available for you all to see once it is launched on the web. I hope that you get as much interest and enjoyment out of them as I have.

A woman sat at a laptop on a desk wearing headphones

Sue volunteering from home

The Resonate project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Foyle Foundation.