A NEW documentary and book are to tell the story of how Carlisle has responded to the coronavirus pandemic.

It is the latest in a long line of projects spearheaded by the Carlisle Covid-19 Community Help Group, which has been providing vital support to residents since the start of the pandemic.

Set up by Carlisle City Councillor for Denton Holme and Morton South Lisa Brown, the group has helped so far helped 1,000 people with essential tasks such as shopping and prescription deliveries and has provided 1,800 food parcels.

As well as focussing on the group's own experiences, the project will also reflect on the experiences of other Covid-19 community groups, such as the ones in Longtown and Brampton.

The Carlisle support group is calling on residents to share their experiences of the pandemic, to help tell the story of the challenges, resilience and rebuilding as people struggle to piece together the jigsaw of the new normal.

The documentary and book will help people to share their experiences and describe how their lives have been affected or changed due to coronavirus.

"We set up our food hub from scratch in March and we have seen at first-hand how hard this has been for many people," explained Mrs Brown.

"We need to rebuild a society the people are in control of, where they play an active part in rebuilding communities.

"We want to listen to what people have to say and what they think the future should look like, rather than to tell people we are going to do what we think they want.

"I believe things need to change at grassroots level, so I’m making this film to push for that change."

Craig Dryden of Carlisle graphic design company, Dryden Media, will be doing the filming, having also been involved with the group from the outset in volunteering design and marketing services.

He said: "I wanted to be involved in this documentary project as I can see its benefit for our communities now and in the future. It’s a chance to showcase real community spirit.

"It’s been humbling to see just how supportive our connected communities are for another when faced with adversity and the uncertainties of Covid-19.

"My hope is this film will be something that Carlisle can be proud of, encapsulating the troubles we’ve endured, and that it will inspire us to be triumphant in supporting each other, as well as raising questions that allow us to create a more equal society."

The group is seeking funding for the project and will be filming for eight weeks. Release is expected in the early autumn. They are hoping to show the film in local cinemas and community venues.

If you would like to share your lockdown stories, send a short summary to MyStory@carlislecommunityhelp.co.uk with your name and contact details if you would like your story to be considered.