An important part of the Lionheart Project was participation. The project inspired people of all ages, individuals, schools and community groups, to get involved and be creative.
During the making of the lions the project ran an open studio, visitors were encouraged to get up close and witness the work in progress. Many schools and college groups visited the studio where they made the most of unique crochet tutorials with the artist before going back to school to pass on their new skills and start their own Lionheart inspired projects.
"A really big thank you for the wonderful cultural opportunity, and for the time you spent with us this afternoon, we all enjoyed ourselves so much and are full of inspiration, the students crocheted all the way back to Market Harborough and are looking foward ro launching our own Lion". Marise Taylor, Welland Park CC Lion Project and School Sports Co-ordinator
“I thought that you might like to see these snaps of the work done at the Pilsley Primary school, inspired by your magical lions when they were at Chatsworth. We and everyone at Chatsworth were thrilled to host these amazing animals……….we had so many good comments but I think that this work is the most eloquent of all”. Best wishes The Duke & Duchess of Devonshire
“I love crochet, because I can talk to my friends and do something I enjoy” Ellen aged 12
“It is really nice to learn a new skill and teach it to all my friends” Matilda aged 12
“Crochet is a new skill to me and I enjoy it” Alex aged 12
“I find it refreshing in this electronic age to see young people engaging in an ancient craft” Amy Simons, Welland Park CC Lion Project Co-ordinator
“How lovely to see students sitting together, talking and laughing and crocheting all at the same time” Marise Taylor, Welland Park CC Lion Project and School Sports Co-ordinator
“I thought the trip was a wonderful experience and I was especially amazed at the crocheted lions there. I would love to visit again as the trip really inspired me to crochet and I am currently trying to crochet my own lion model influenced by the trip.” Charlie-Ann Miles, Age 11
“The trip was amazing I enjoyed it so much I wouldn’t mind going there every day. The ladies and man made you welcome. They also gave us a T-shirt and a crochet needle. So to put it all together – I had the best time ever!” Ellie-May Inwood, Age 11
“It was a fascinating experience and it was jam packed with fun! I really hope we can do it again!” Amber Newton, Age 11
“We have been following the story of the Lionheart Project and to actually have the opportunity to meet Shauna and talk about her work and actually see and touch the lions was truly amazing for all of us” Sharon Bown
In 2010, Inspire LeicesterShire & Lionheart Project got together and launched the 'Patchwork Pledge'. The project asked participants to create squares for a 'London 2012 inspired pledge blanket in aid of Age UK, Leicestershire & Rutland. Spanning two years, the My Games My Legacy 'Patchwork Pledge' project became an overwhelming success. Hundreds of volunteers of all ages designed & crochet/knitted their own 6″ squares and joined them together to form the ‘Big One’ a huge blanket containing 22,00 squares an amazing 500 square metres in size.
“The Patchwork Pledge project has far exceeded our expectations. It’s amazing to see all the wonderful designs that have been inspired by the Games. I love how this project is bringing generations together – both young and old, of any experience are joining in and helping to create a legacy from the London 2012 Games in their own special way.” Shimul Haider / 2012 Games Legacy Director for Leicester & Leicestershire
The Lionheart Project was involved with many individual and group projects throughout the UK and the project supplied materials for many inspirational creations. Projects were not limited to textiles, they included drawing, painting, sculpture, photography and film making.
"Shauna Richardson came to visit our WI – How lucky were we! A totally inspiring and interesting lady who shared her passion for freestyle crocheting and where her journey has taken her so far – the very exciting ‘Lionheart Project’ for 2012. I am sure we will all be following her progress with special interest – roll on 2012 and the unveiling of the 3 lions. Definite WI trip for the future! Fabulous evening last night. Shauna was fascinating and inspiring. So was the sight of 75 women with crochet hooks at the ready. I’m sure we must have broken some kind of record!?. We have been following the story of the Lionheart Project and to actually have the opportunity to meet Shauna and talk about her work and actually see and touch the lions was truly amazing for all of us” Sharon Bown Little Bowden WI
“I thought that you would be interested to know what has happened to that lovely yarn you gave me a few months ago. You already know that I used a fair bit for our installation at Greenacres. That has proved to be very popular with the public and is still intact and looking lovely. I also sent some of the yarn to a group called the ‘Graffiti Grannies’. They are a guerilla knitting group based in Cornwall and were admiring your lions from afar so I sent them some yarn which I am sure they will put to good use in one of their future installations. Also I have been telling participants at my creative cafes at the Guildhall and Greenacres about your work and giving them some of the yarn to work with. Also, this week, inspired by the amazing archeological dig in the city I was inspired to use your yarn again and have completed a little project that is now installed at the Guildhall in Leicester.” Lisa Pidgeon
“We want to get out to local community groups and schools with our crocheted lion head and get children to put bits on to make the mane using yarn which was actually used for the Shauna Richardson project. As well as being involved with a fantastic project, this is a great way to get children trying handicrafts and getting involved with the Olympics and its legacy.” KGB
“Thank you so much for making the time for us to visit you today. I felt so very priviledged to spend the morning with you and see the dream! Totally and utterly amazing! I wish you all the best for the challenges ahead – If the achievements to date are anything to go by, your part of the Cultural Olympiad will be a huge success”. Good luck and best wishes Elaine Foote