A Liverpudlian literacy and arts organisation is helping children understand more about Eurovision in the city and the Ukrainian community, all thanks to support from The National Lottery.
Split Perspectivz CIC is running the Eurovision Unity Project, creating Eurovision packs for primary school children, which have a range of activities based around Eurovision and Ukraine.
The National Lottery is one of the biggest supporters of music and culture in Liverpool with over £330m invested in 3,600 arts and heritage projects to date.
Liverpool’s historic hosting of Eurovision sees The National Lottery make further multi-million-pound contributions to arts, heritage, and community across the city.
More than forty-five community projects across the UK, including Split Perspectivz CIC, have shared over £300,000 of funding from The National Lottery Community Fund to help bring communities together to celebrate Eurovision and support the Ukrainian community here in the UK.
The project is being led by Split Perspectivz co-director Jude Lennon, who has been travelling across Liverpool delivering community sessions and distributing the packs to young children.
As well as engaging young people in Eurovision, Lennon believes the special exhibition running as part of the event will engage the children in both the arts and their local community.
She said: “In the activity packs they find out the history of Eurovision, the history of all the countries that take part, and we have got information about Ukraine and the Ukrainian community, and recipes for Ukrainian food and links to traditional dances and clothing.
“In our workshops as well, we have been doing some artwork which the children have been contributing to, and an artist is going to make a mural from that.
“We have also done a workshop with a Ukrainian community family group, and we’ve also asked people to write a word that sums up Eurovision, which we’ll also have in our exhibition.
“It would not have happened without National Lottery funding, so it’s been essential for us to be able to do this.
“Putting the packs together, we have had to deploy designers and artists, we’ve had to recruit volunteers to put them together, so it has been crucial.
“The packs were important to us as the essential message is a literacy element and reading. We want to raise the literary standards across the city, so The National Lottery funding has helped also us get the pack out across the whole city.”
The scheme has proven to be an enormous success and has engaged children into having a greater understanding of not only Eurovision, but also the Ukrainian community.
She said: “The children have engaged with every aspect of the workshop. When we have told them their artwork is going to be in an exhibition, they’ve been really excited about that, and it will be open for them to have a look at it once it’s ready. It has been a really great experience for the children.
“Eurovision is such a bizarre concept as a child, and I think it’s important for the children to understand these big events that come to the place they live in, so they can take enjoyment from it.
“I think the whole point really of Eurovision is that it is quite a unifying thing. Whether you love it or hate it, you have got memories of Eurovision. I think it is nice for children to have their own experiences, but I think it also gives them a chance to learn about geography and other countries.
“It’s a great opportunity for them to learn about our host city, but also the country we’re hosting on behalf of as well.”
National Lottery players raise more than £30 million a week for arts, education, environment, health, heritage, sport, and voluntary projects across the UK; see the difference it’s making near you at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk