Leeds VE Day resources available

Residents across the Leeds area are urged to play their part in the 75th anniversary celebrations of VE Day from home.

Friday May 8 marks 75 years since Victory in Europe (VE) Day when the Second World War came to an end in Europe.

On this day in 1945, the Allied forces celebrated victory and a return to peace time in Europe. Across Europe and North America, millions of people took to the streets to celebrate with family, friends and neighbours.

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This year, the government moved the May Day bank holiday to VE Day to allow the nation to remember the sacrifices so many made during the Second World War.

Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, all VE Day events across the UK have been cancelled in line with government guidance.

Residents across the city are being encouraged to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day in a different way this year, from the comfort of their own homes.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has created a digital toolkit which includes lots of ways you can still get involved in marking the anniversary.

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It contains educational resources, a guide for planning an at-home tea party, recipes, bunting and fun activities.

The full toolkit is available here: www.ve-vjday75.gov.uk/get-involved. Other organisations have also created toolkits and resources for celebrating VE Day at home including The Royal British Legion and English Heritage.

In Leeds, using resources from these toolkits, the council has been linking up with care homes, schools and nurseries to encourage people to celebrate VE Day wherever they may be.

The council’s libraries team has also been digging deep into the Leodis photo archive to create a short film using photographic material of end of war celebrations in Leeds. This will be shared on VE Day on Leeds Libraries’ Facebook and Twitter pages.

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They’d also love to see how you are celebrating VE Day at home this year. Email any photographs to [email protected].

Leeds City Council Leader, Coun Judith Blake, said: “The 75th anniversary of VE Day is also a tremendous opportunity to use these resources.”

Coun Jane Dowson, Armed Forces Champion, said: “VE Day is such a significant and important moment in history and we have been looking forward to commemorating its 75th anniversary this year.

“As a city, we are extremely proud of our long and distinguished military history including the thousands of individuals from Leeds who served during the Second World War.

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“Although we are no longer able to attend VE Day events and activities, I hope you can all join me in celebrating the day from our own homes to remember and honour all those who sacrificed so much during the Second World War.”

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