Join us in making an owl and share your hopes, dreams and expectations for the future of Leeds

What is it all about?

We’re inviting the people of Leeds to take part in our Give a Hoot! campaign.

Get creative and share your hopes, dreams and expectations for the future by making an owl. Owls will be placed on display at Leeds City Museum during Mental Health Awareness Week 13 to 19 May 2024.

Every owl we receive represents someone who gives a hoot – so the more hoots the better!

Download campaign pack

How can I get involved?

Please join us on Twitter @MindWellLeeds and spread the word and a photo of your creation using #GiveAHoot!. View an accessible plain text version of our campaign pack.

Step 1: Make your owl

Any owl will do

So long as it fits in the palm of your hand, you can create your owl using whatever materials you can find or have lying around at home. Crochet, painted, hand-drawn or origami – the more creative, the better.

Our campaign pack includes instructions on how to create an origami owl and you can also find lots of free or reasonably priced instructions for owls online.

Or here are a few inspiring handmade owls we found to kick-start your creativity!

Some owl inspiration!

Step 2: Share your hopes, dreams or expectations for the future

Don’t forget to include a message with your owl. You could write this on the owl itself or send your owl with a handwritten note. Here are some prompts if you’re stuck on what to say:

  • If I could change one thing about Leeds, it would be….
  • To make things better for people in Leeds…
  • I hope that in future…
  • For a better future, we must…

There is no right or wrong answer – just write whatever matters to you.

Step 3: Send your owl off to roost!

Once you’re happy with your owl, drop it off at one of the below community libraries any time before Friday 12 April 2024 and we’ll do the rest.

Participating libraries

  • Headingley Community Hub and Library, 9B North Lane, Headingley, Leeds LS6 3HG
  • Compton Road Library, The Compton Centre, Harehills Lane, Leeds LS9 7BG
  • Seacroft Community Hub and Library, Deacon House, 1 Seacroft Avenue, Leeds, LS14 6JD
  • Reginald Centre Library, 263 Chapeltown Road, Leeds LS7 3EX
  • Moor Allerton Library, Moor Allerton Centre, King Lane, Leeds LS17 5NY
  • Morley Library, Commercial Street, Morley, Leeds LS27 8HZ
  • Rothwell Library, Rothwell, Leeds LS26 0AG
  • Hunslet Library, Waterloo Street, Hunslet, Leeds LS10 2NS
  • Garforth Library, Lidgett Lane, Garforth, Leeds LS25 1EH
  • Central Leeds Library, Calverley Street, Leeds LS1 3AB
  • Armley Library, 2 Stocks Hill, Armley, Leeds LS12 1UQ
  • Pudsey Library, Church Lane, Pudsey, Leeds LS28 7TY
  • Horsforth Library, Town Street, Horsforth, Leeds LS18 5BL

Owls can be dropped off near the library desk – speak with the library attendant if you’re unsure.

Alternatively, you can:

  • Post your owl to: MindWell – Give a Hoot!, Suite C24, Joseph’s Well, Hanover Walk, Leeds, LS3 1AB.
  • Or take a photo of your owl and email it to:
  • Or post to social media and tag us: @MindWellLeeds

Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee the return of individual creations.

Bonus: Join a free origami workshop

Upcoming free origami workshops

Get in touch if you plan to deliver a free event open to the public and we will advertise it here.

If you’re unable to deliver the session, but know of a mental health support or wellbeing group who would like to do the activity, we have a limited number of free artist-led sessions we can deliver. Get in touch with us at 

Why origami?

Origami is an ancient Japanese art form that involves folding paper into intricate designs without the use of scissors or glue. The art of origami has been practised for centuries and is now enjoyed by people all over the world.

One of the most well-known origami myths is the story of the 1000 origami cranes.
According to this myth, folding 1000 origami cranes will grant the folder one wish. The story became popular after Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who survived the bombing of Hiroshima, began folding cranes while she was in the hospital, hoping to recover from leukemia.

Although Sadako did not reach her goal of folding 1000 cranes before she passed away, her story inspired others to continue folding cranes as a symbol of hope and peace.

We want to create as many owls as we can to show that older people give a hoot and have something to say about the future of the city. Who knows, we might even make it to 1000 owls and be granted a wish!

Why owls?

Instead of cranes, we’re making owls to represent the people of Leeds. Owls feature on the Leeds Coat-of-Arms and can be spotted all around the city on buildings and signs. In fact, there are twenty-five owls on the official Leeds Owl Trail!

Mindful making

Origami isn’t just about crafting beautiful paper creations; it’s a mindful activity that boosts mental wellbeing.

Folding paper in a focused way can be a calming escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, helping us relax by connecting our minds and bodies to the present moment. And while we can’t always control what happens in the future, reflecting on the changes we want to see can shine a light on what we care about. Taking time to get to know ourselves better, without judgment, is another way to feel better.

Plus, you’ll be joining a community of local voices, raising awareness about what matters
most to people in Leeds!


How can I help others get involved?

Run your own creative session

Organising a group session

If you’re part of creative group or know others who might like to take part you could organise your own owl making session.

So long as it fits in the palm of a hand, owls can be made using whatever materials you can find. Crochet, painted, hand-drawn or origami – the more creative, the better.

Download our campaign pack, which includes a digital poster and instructions to hand out at your group session. Or you can find free or reasonably priced instructions for how to make different owls online.

Your group could also make simple origami owls by following these instructions. You can use normal coloured or plain paper, so long as it is cut to be a square. Or you can buy reasonably priced origami paper from arts and crafts stores or online.

If you have any questions or would like a printed copy of our campaign pack, please contact and we would be happy to post one out to you.

If you’re unable to deliver the session, but know of a mental health support or wellbeing group who would like to do the activity, we have a limited number of free artist-led sessions we can deliver. 

Campaign materials

Getting creative can have great benefits for everyone, no matter what age we are. Visit our Get creative section to learn about the many wellbeing benefits of being creative and find ideas for other activities and groups in Leeds.