Exmouth youngster hailed as ‘lockdown legends’ for using creativity to improve wellbeing

PUBLISHED: 08:00 29 October 2020

Eva and Star Watson. Picture: Hayley Watson

Eva and Star Watson. Picture: Hayley Watson


A couple of young ‘lockdown legends’ in Exmouth have been recognised for their contribution during the coronavirus pandemic.

Livvy Hylton-Smith. Picture: Hayley WatsonLivvy Hylton-Smith. Picture: Hayley Watson

Eva and Star Watson channelled their creativity to help a project launched by their mum Hayley, who runs the Little Secret Craft and Design Studio, to provide arts and crafts for those confined to their homes during lockdown.

As a result, all three were named on Exeter RAMM’s list of ‘lockdown legends’ alongside community art ambassador Livvy Hylton-Smith who teamed up with Hayley for the project.

Eva and Star first got involved in using arts and crafts as wellbeing therapy when they wanted to help Hayley look after their grandmother who was isolated.

Hayley said: “It was amazing watching how it improved her quality of life and gave her a sense of therapeutic relief.

Hayley Watson. Picture: ContributedHayley Watson. Picture: Contributed

“As Covid-19 struck, they still wanted to spread their selfless love and kindness, to help other people in isolation, who were suffering with their mental health and needed therapeutic art for mindfulness and wellbeing.”

When the lockdown began, Hayley and Livvy decided to create a movement to reach out and help anyone they could with free arts and crafts kits.

These were delivered to the most vulnerable, families, schools, mental health groups, residential homes and supported housing.

Throughout the lockdown, Eva and Star helped prepare more than 4,000 free arts and crafts packs to be sent out in the community.

Hayley added: “Art packs was created and tailored to the requirements of the individual or family, with online support and video calls to help the community create in their homes or establishments.”

Hayley and Livvy used their own money to start the project and raised money with a Facebook live event and Livvy sang old wartime favourites and jazz.

They collected unwanted arts and craft essentials from the community to help create the packs.

They received funding from Exmouth Town Council’s prompt action fund and were also supported by district councillor Eileen Wragg and fellow lockdown legend, Garry Wakeman, of open arms mental health charity.

Aa crowdfunding page to help pay for an arts and craft bus so they can help people in isolation has raised more than £2,700 towards a target of £10,000.

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