Stevenage schoolchildren’s Arc of Hope project strengthens community during coronavirus crisis

PUBLISHED: 11:03 24 April 2020 | UPDATED: 11:03 24 April 2020

Woolenwick Infant and Nursery School in Stevenage led the Arc of Hope project, which involved community groups and 39 schools, to strengthen the sense of community during the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Courtesy of Christina Anderson

Woolenwick Infant and Nursery School in Stevenage led the Arc of Hope project, which involved community groups and 39 schools, to strengthen the sense of community during the coronavirus crisis. Picture: Courtesy of Christina Anderson

Archant

Schoolchildren in Stevenage have led a community project which has culminated in a stunning work of art aimed at inspiring hope during the coronavirus crisis.

Pupils at Woolenwick Infant and Nursery School came up with the Arc of Hope premise to symbolise standing together as a community despite isolation and social distancing due to Covid-19.

It is a digital rainbow compiled of selfies of Stevenage families dressed, draped or painted in one of the colours of the rainbow. This is surrounded by images of rainbows created in support of all keyworkers.

The collaborative project, which was coordinated by Woolenwick, involved 39 schools, as well as community groups and friends of the schools, which are credited in the border of the picture.

The piece of art is in response to the huge sense of community spirit which has emerged during lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, and how rainbows are now synonymous with the message of hope across the UK.

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Woolenwick’s inclusion leader, Christina Anderson, explained: “Individual children created rainbow pictures which we posted to the NHS. The keyworker children also designed chalk rainbows on our playground to share on social media. The children realised that the chalk would wash away and they wanted something more permanent. At the same time, they were missing their friends and we talked about taking photographs.”

It is from this that the Arc of Hope project was devised.

Usha Dhorajiwala, headteacher at Woolenwick, said: “Everyone appreciates a positive message in these difficult times. Arc of Hope has been a fantastic way of bringing the community together and giving everyone who sees it a reason to smile.”

The Arc of Hope has been submitted to the Royal Academy of Arts for this year’s Young Artists’ Summer Show.

Christina says there has also been interest in displaying the artwork in a public space in Stevenage, as well as exploring the possibility of gifting a permanent board of the image to the NHS staff at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital.

Woolenwick is taking orders for a professionally printed, high resolution copy of the design on Foamex. To order, email admin@woolenwickinfants.herts.sch.uk for further details.


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