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In May and June 2020, as the UK was in the heart of a national “lockdown”, we interviewed 20 people to ask them about their experiences. This is what they told us.

As you watch these films and hear the stories please be aware that they record personal experiences, fears and dreams – shared during a time of stress and anxiety. Everyone who has chosen to take part in this project has done so in a spirit of courage and generous openness. No one is speaking in an “official” capacity on behalf of any organisation and they are sharing their individual views and experiences. Everyone has been given the opportunity to review and approve these films before they have been shared here or elsewhere in the public domain.

There are 8 films here and another 12 in production. You can read more about the intention and purpose of The Secret Dreams Project here.

Mark’s story

Mark is a teacher leader at a primary school in Tottenham, north London. He shares his experience of facing the impact of the pandemic as part of a community of teachers, parents and children through lockdown.
Interview date: 10 May 2020

Zakiya’s story

Zakiya is a yoga teacher and social entrepreneur in Dalston, east London. She shares her story of looking social and racial inequality in the eye and making radical changes to her working life during lockdown.
Interview date: 11 May 2020

Sanjit’s story

Sanjit lives in London and works for a theatre company. He reflects on the roots of the pandemic in consumerism, and using his experiences of balancing work with his mental health to support his wellbeing.
Interview date: 14 May 2020

Peter’s story

Peter is retired and lives in south London. He talks about his perspective as a working class man from the generation who benefited from post-war social reforms and his hopes and fears for his children in the present and future.
Interview date: 15 May 2020

Les’s story

Les is a primary school learning mentor and lives in Brighton. His story focuses on how his community has come together during lockdown, and his worries about what the future holds for young people if we can’t address the fundamental issues that lie beneath the pandemic.
Interview date: 18 May 2020

Rosie’s story

Rosie lives in Hove with her dog – having recently retired here from London. She reflects on her deep worries about the planet’s precarious ecological position and her hopes and dreams for a more equitable future for her children and grandson.
Interview date: 19 May 2020

Nichole’s story

Nichole is a senior nurse, poet and digital broadcaster living in London with her family. She shares the experience of shielding while continuing to work in a caring role in the NHS and her vision for how we can build a kinder, more decent future through braver conversations in our communities.
Interview date: 27 May 2020

Dinah’s story

Dinah is an artist in Lewes in Sussex. She shares a story of grief – for her father who died at the start of lockdown – and for the planet and what humans have done to it and themselves. Her dream is that we can heal the damage done before it’s too late.
Interview date: 26 May 2020