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Celebrating amazing residents and staff while reflecting on the pandemic and the impact it has had on our lives

In 2020 after three months of lockdown and fears over Covid-19, it was  hard to find something to smile about, but a talented young photographer captured high spirits at Notting Hill Genesis’s Cheviot Gardens extra care scheme.

Leela West, 14, joined photographers across the country to take pictures of people at their front door as part of The Lockdown Doorstep Project and visited the scheme, in West Norwood.

This multi-generational project celebrates the amazing residents and staff who live and work at Cheviot Gardens and gives us time to remember the pandemic and the huge impact it has had on our lives.

Extra care schemes, a type of retirement living, have been hugely successful in preventing the spread of the virus as everyone lives in their own self-contained apartment. This gave them the chance to shield or self-isolate in their own home, while also having access to 24-hour on-site care and support if needed.

Mary Xtian, service manager at Cheviot Gardens, said: “Many of our residents took part in the Lockdown Doorstep Project and put a lot of thought into how they wanted to represent themselves. They refused to be defeated by the pandemic and really enjoyed getting involved in the project which captures the times we lived through.

Leela West is a year nine student from Sydenham School. She has just been accepted to the BRIT School to study film from September. She has always been passionate about film-making, taking photographs and fine art.