Blackburn College WWII Project Sees Children Create Their Own Face Masks

In November 2020, children from Blackburn Children’s University took part in a Sharing Stories Remembrance Event with students and staff from Blackburn University Centre.

During the event, the children learned about the gas masks worn during WWII and then designed their own face masks with a WWII theme using a mask template designed by undergraduates on the Fashion and Textiles programme at Blackburn University Centre.

The mask designs were collected from the children’s schools by Sara Burton, Blackburn Children’s University Manager, and delivered to the University Centre.

This is where they were made into face masks by the undergraduates as part of their work-based learning module. Sara then recollected the masks and distributed them to the children who were delighted to see their designs made into a real face mask.

Val Jessop and Sandra Nichol, Joint Project Leads on the WWII project East Lancashire Childhoods: Sharing Stories, Making Memories, said: “We are always amazed by the creativity of the children who attend our events and the face mask designs were imaginative and colourful.

“It was fantastic to see photos of the children wearing them! We’d like to thank the staff and students for all their work in making the children’s designs a reality.”

Sara Burton, Blackburn Children’s University Manager, said: “During the Sharing Stories, Making Memories activity, the children were given the challenge of designing their very own face mask. They were told that this would be made into an actual face mask for them to wear.

“I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but when I received the finished masks I was amazed, they were fantastic. I have received so many positive comments from parents and carers, as well as from the class teachers who handed them out.

“They were just perfect and what a lovely item for the children to keep. I cannot thank the staff and students enough from Blackburn University Centre.”

Christmas Cards Event

On Saturday 8th December 2020, children took part in festive craft activities with residents of Eachstep Care Home.

Both sets of participants made Christmas cards for each other which were exchanged with the help of Sara Burton, Blackburn Children’s University Manager, and Joanie Gleeson, Activities Co-Ordinator at Eachstep.

Sara also ran several additional sessions for the children during the day. This is Sara’s evaluation of the sessions, including those with the care home residents and the children’s feedback.

Please click here to read Sara’s evaluation!

Project Leads Sandra Nichol and Val Jessop said: “It was lovely to hear the children and residents chatting as they took part in the activities and asked each other questions about their plans for Christmas.

“The children designed their own cards and wrote messages for the residents. The residents coloured in their own holiday cards which were then passed on to the children. It definitely cheered us all up and made everyone feel very Christmassy!”

Joanie said: “It was an amazing event and the residents loved interacting with the children online and making Christmas cards. They can’t wait for the next event!”