The Lockdown Blues
A boat bobbing out at sea with a light house

About us


We are Charlotte Jones, Olly Clabburn, and Fred Cooper, a group of academics at the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health, University of Exeter.

We want this project to show people who feel lonely that they aren’t the only ones, and to provide a way for them to tell their stories. We also want to make sure that the way people feel during COVID-19 isn’t forgotten or overlooked, and explore the connections between reading, writing, creativity, and wellbeing. We have a few different project partners, so we thought we’d tell you a bit about them here.

For an easy read version of this website, click here.













The Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health (WCCEH) is a world-leading research centre dedicated to providing innovative approaches to enabling health and well-being across the life course. There is an important cluster of research around loneliness within WCCEH, including a South West Loneliness Network and a recently-announced creative collaboration with the Northcott Theatre and the playwright Natalie McGrath. With Egenis, the Centre for the Study of Life Sciences, WCCEH have just launched a new online platform, Exploring Society with Covid-19.

Exeter City of Literature is a new forum to celebrate, explore and develop Exeter’s recent UNESCO status as a city of literature, run by Exeter Culture.  A large part of the case for Exeter rested on the long associations between reading, writing, and wellbeing, themes which this project is keen to draw out. In becoming a creative city, Exeter has made a commitment to the UNESCO sustainability goals, including Ageing Better and Connecting Better.

Exeter Phoenix is a vibrant, world-class multi-art form venue, and one of the most important creative hubs in the South West. With a long-standing belief in the connections between creativity, culture, and health, the Phoenix has taken this a step further in 2019/2020 with Bloom, a yearly festival on mental health and the arts. Their in-house illustrator, Darren Shaddick, created the beautiful, weird, and thought-provoking artwork you can see throughout the Lockdown Blues.

Devon Libraries is the county-wide library service ran by Libraries Unlimited. Their key aim is to bring ideas, imagination, information and knowledge to people’s lives and communities, and they take their role in promoting health and wellbeing through education, connection, community, and creativity particularly seriously. Alongside signposting to important health resources, through initiatives such as Reading Well, they support vulnerable, lonely, and isolated people, whether through home delivery services or groups for new parents.