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Coronavirus: Crafty Belfast mum and toddler share fun art with elderly neighbours


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Little Lily at work

Little Lily at work

Little Lily with mum Hannah

Little Lily with mum Hannah

Little Lily delivering art to a neighbour

Little Lily delivering art to a neighbour

Little Lily at work

An east Belfast mum has come up with a "crafty" way of keeping her young daughter occupied during the lockdown while helping elderly friends and neighbours at the same time.

Hannah Moore (28), a care worker who is mum to 21-month-old Lily, has set up Facebook page 'Toddler on Lockdown', in which she shares ideas for daily arts activities to do at home.

The Facebook page, which began around three weeks ago as a way of keeping in contact with family and friends, has now grown to include a weekly art session for the elderly.

To date the creative mum and daughter have sent around 30 pieces of artwork to family members, neighbours and those in care homes, with requests coming in for older people who could do with a "lift". A recent project involved sending a "hug to wrap around yourself" with a little poem of explanation.

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Little Lily delivering art to a neighbour

Little Lily delivering art to a neighbour

Little Lily delivering art to a neighbour

Hannah said: "We did prints of Lily's hands and then measured from one hand to the other - like you are giving a hug - and cut them out of twine.

"The lovely thing was that when we went to the post office it was shut and an elderly man overhead us and offered us two books of stamps he had.

"He wouldn't take any money for them and when I explained what we were doing he said it was the perfect thing for him to give his stamps away to."

Hannah is also encouraging people to send 100th birthday cards to Captain Tom Moore in England.

The former Army officer has caught the imagination of the public and raised £25m for NHS charities by walking 100 laps of his garden.

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Little Lily with mum Hannah

Little Lily with mum Hannah

Little Lily with mum Hannah

Said Hannah: "Me and Lily are going to make up a parcel of art and send it to him. I think he's amazing."

The online idea has kindled unexpected friendships, too, with one young boy, Caidan (8), becoming a pen pal to Robert (76).

Hannah explained: "Robert is self-isolating and very lonely and my friend has a wee boy who is autistic and finding it very hard because he is out of his routine.

"Caidan and Robert have become pen pals and have been writing to each other.

"Some of my friends' kids also made paintings and cards for Robert and he has the paintings on his window for everybody to see."

The Sydenham woman has also started a sunflower competition on her street, sending out envelopes of seeds to neighbours, with the challenge being to see who can cultivate the biggest bloom.

She said: "Lily's dad Robbie loves art and music too, and even before all of this started we would have done activities with Lily in the house.

"Lots of people have been contacting me and sharing ideas, which has been fun.

"The art makes such a difference for older people, especially dementia patients who can't understand why their family isn't with them."

Belfast Telegraph