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Blackburn College Delighted to Launch Exciting WWII National Lottery Heritage Fund Project

Blackburn College Delighted to Launch Exciting WWII National Lottery Heritage Fund Project

May 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day and the University Centre at Blackburn College is delighted to launch the World War II East Lancashire Childhoods: Sharing Stories, Making Memories project, thanks to a £15,000 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The focus of the project is to give older residents and children of East Lancashire opportunities to talk about growing up during WWII, creating a digital archive preserving memories of childhood.

Residents of EACHSTEP care home, students and staff from the University Centre and pupils from Blackburn Children’s University, supported by Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery and Blackburn Library, have all worked together to create an exciting programme of activities.

These include making decorations for a VE day party, writing poetry and stories, playing games, singing war time songs and talking about being a child.

The aim is to preserve the rich cultural histories from this period and to bring those experiences to life for a new generation. By inviting older residents to share their experiences we hope that children and younger people will develop a deeper awareness and understanding of what growing up during the war was like for the people who lived through it.

Dr Stephen Tate’s introductory blog Lest We Forget: Family History, Memorabilia and World War II offers a personal insight into the importance of memorabilia for preserving family histories for future generations.

Project leads Sandra Nichol and Dr Valerie Jessop said: “We have already seen the enjoyment gained from the interaction between the children and older residents. Witnessing the conversations has been a joyful experience and we are looking forward to future events.”

Sara Burton, Blackburn Children’s University Manager, said: “The children have enjoyed visiting EACHSTEP and interacting with the older residents. This is a new experience for them and they have been able to talk with and learn from the residents, whilst doing many fun activities with them.”

“It is something they will remember and being able to see these interactions has been wonderful.”

Students from the School of Art and Society have been a great asset to the project and have been able to use their experiences for work-based learning.

Due to the recent Coronavirus outbreak, and with a view to participant safety, all planned events and activities have been postponed until later in the year.

Look out for the project’s website: https://smallstories.blackburn.ac.uk/ which includes blogs, photographs, interviews, videos and information about future events.

Work-based education opportunities are available through a variety of University Centre at Blackburn College courses and we are currently taking applications for September 2020. Prospective students are advised to visit www.blackburn.ac.uk to make an application.

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Using money raised by the National Lottery, we inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. www.heritagefund.org.uk.

1 Apr 2020, 14:30 PM