YOUNG people across Southampton are being provided with art boxes so they can express their feelings during the coronavirus crisis.

Solent University's successful initiative, "Art To Go" - where pizza boxes full of arts and crafts are handed out to local young people to express their feelings during the pandemic - has been expanded to even more people across the city.

Following the University’s funding of the first 150 boxes, Southampton City Council’s Violence Reduction Unit sponsored a further 200 boxes and Arts Council Through Artwork funded another 150 boxes.

The 500 pizza boxes are packed full of art materials, creative ideas and activities from Solent Gallery, Southampton City Art Gallery, City Eye, Mayflower Theatre and John Hansard Gallery, which residents can use to creatively demonstrate how the they are feeling during this time of uncertainty.

Alice Mooney, who helped distribute the boxes, said: "The boxes have been really beneficial with reducing boredom at home. Everything else is online and relies on technology and not everyone can access that, so this box was a practical activity and it came with everything that was need to complete the activities, all in one.”

The completed works by young people will be displayed as part of a special ‘Life in Lockdown’ exhibition in October 2020, creating a lasting record of how the city’s young people responded to lockdown – giving voice to their hopes, fears and concerns.

Councillor, Satvir Kaur, Cabinet Member for Culture and Homes said: "It is important our young people are not forgotten during this pandemic. This initiative is a great example of art and culture being used to bring local organisations together to help support health and wellbeing.

“A big thank you to everyone involved. These art boxes were distributed across the city through community groups, foster carers, Children’s Services and our police colleagues. Let's continue to work together to find creative solutions to benefit and enrich our local communities.”