Picture This! Let’s work together to get back to doing the things we love

All of us want to get back to some sort of normality, and we all have things we’ve missed doing during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Our ‘Picture This’ campaign features local residents and some famous faces sharing what they’re looking forward to doing again, when it’s safe to relax restrictions.

The campaign reminds us of the simple things we can all do to help us get back to normal sooner. Things like:

  • Washing our hands regularly and for 20 seconds
  • Wearing a face covering in enclosed public spaces
  • Keeping a 2m distance from anyone we don’t live with
  • Not socialising indoors with anyone we don’t live with
  • Only meeting up outdoors in group of up to six, or two households
  • Getting tested if we have Coronavirus symptoms
  • Self-isolating if we are told to
  • Working from home if we can
  • Getting regularly tested if we leave our homes for work
  • Minimising travel


Neil Dagnall, King George’s Hall & Darwen Library Theatre 

Neil Dagnall, Venue Operations Manager at King George’s Hall & Darwen Library Theatre, is looking forward to welcoming audiences back to the theatres. Both venues are fully Covid-secure and have a packed schedule of events coming up.


Claire Metcalf and Logan, new mum & five month old son

New mum Claire Metcalf is looking forward to being able to spend quality time with her family and friends and see them get to know her five month old son Logan.

She’s found being a new parent during lockdown an isolating experience but is enjoying getting support through parent & child classes and meeting other mums.


Moonira Hinglotwala, MasterChef finalist and pharmacist

Moonira Hinglotwala is looking forward to cooking for people and entertaining family and friends again once restrictions ease.

She’s also keen to introduce her baby daughter, born two weeks before the first lockdown, to her family.


Julie Ayres & Rebecca Wilson, The Wish Centre

The Wish Centre has adapted how it offers support services to domestic abuse victims during the pandemic, a time when incidents of domestic abuse sadly increased.

Rebecca and Julie share how much they’re looking forward to welcoming clients back into the centre when it’s safe to do so.


Rick Wilson, Founder of Blackburn Couch To 5K

As the numbers of adults allowed to exercise outdoors together, Rick Wilson is looking forward to helping hundreds more people find a love of running. The pandemic has had a huge impact of our fitness levels, our motivation, feelings of isolation – and Rick and his team of volunteers will keep everyone safe as they start their fitness journeys.


Local gyms & leisure centres

There’s real excitement among owners and staff of gyms and leisure centres across the borough.  Yuri from Darwen Leisure Centre, Shelley from Half Fish, Omar from Audley Centre and Leanne and Nic from Unit 2 Fitness For Women tell us what they’re looking forward to most.


Jay Flynn MBE, pandemic quizmaster

Virtual pub quiz host Jay Flynn MBE is looking forward to visiting the charities his online quizzes have raised almost £1million for during the pandemic.


Hasina Bangi, baker and wedding cake creator

Owner of My Kitchen Bakery Hasina Bangi is looking forward to the wedding season returning later this year so she can meet brides and grooms in person once more.

Hasina has missed getting to know couples prior to their wedding day and seeing their reactions when she delivers the cake.


Ummaih Shah, university student 

In her second year at Leeds Beckett University, Ummaih is looking forward to getting back to her fun uni lifestyle – as well as getting her head down to study.


Charli Jepson, Charli & The Beauty Factory

Beauty salon owner Charli Jepson is looking forward to welcoming back her clients in April. The lockdowns have been tough for her and her staff. Hear what she has to say about the last year.


Meredith Porter, NHS Community Occupational Therapist

One of our local NHS superstars, Meredith is looking forward to a time when she can see all her patients face-to-face in their homes, in hospital and in rehab units once again. She currently sees the majoirty of her patients via video call, which makes her role more challenging.


Mark Taylor and Jamie Evans, chefs and restaurateurs

Although they have adapted to offer a takeaway service, Mark Taylor and Jamie Evans of The Dog Inn, Belthorn and The Bank Bar & Kitchen in Darwen are really looking forward to welcoming guests back into their restaurants.


Zara Hayat, Youth MP for BwD

Quite simply, 16 year old Zara Hayat is looking forward to being a teenager again. She misses being able to go out socialising with her friends, and hugging her family. In her video, the Youth MP for BwD also talks about the disruption to education for young people like her.


Blackburn Rovers FC

For our local team, playing in an empty Ewood Park just isn’t the same. Hear from team captain Elliott Bennett, midfielder Bradley Dack and manager Tony Mowbray on the difference it makes to have supporters in the stadium and how much they’re looking forward to a time when it’s safe for them to return to the stands.




Coun Mohammed Khan, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Like many other grandparents, Councillor Khan is missing seeing his family and hugging his 11 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Close contact with our loved ones is one of the hardest sacrifices we’ve had to make this year. But is necessary to protect them and ourselves from Coronavirus.


Nikki Robertson, Darwen business owner

Nikki Robertson is looking forward to a time when she can reopen her pottery painting studio.

Nikki is the owner of Erin’s Place studio and By Erin gift shop in Darwen. Since the first lockdown in March she’s been missing hosting parties and having families in to spend quality time together, getting creative with paints and making slime.


Michelle Smith, The Redeemer C of E Primary School

Lots of schools have had to think creatively about how they celebrate Christmas and make this December a magical time for their children.

The Redeemer C of E Primary School in Blackburn got all classes involved in a special virtual nativity performance.

Here’s Redeemer headteacher Michelle Smith talking about what it’s been like preparing for Christmas in school this year, and how much she’s looking forward to a time when everyone can come together in person again.

Read more about how The Redeemer Primary celebrated Christmas safely in 2020.


Tez Ilyas, comedian and actor

Blackburn-born comedian Tez Ilyas misses performing on stage in comedy clubs, making people laugh. Tez tells us what 2020 has been like for him and how much he’s looking forward to a time when he can get back to work.

Read more about Tez’s support for the Picture This campaign.



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