Heritage 1st

Making a difference

How the project achieved HLF’s outcomes for heritage

  • Oral histories were recorded and are now held available in Glamorgan archives.  Copies of a compilation DVD are also archived in The Cardiff Story Museum and the British Institute of Learning Disabilities.
  • The stories and research materials were interpreted by young people into an exhibition (a large scale snakes and ladders board helped tell the story in the exhibition) and an animation, which can be watched on the Cardiff People First YouTube channel.

How the project achieved HLF’s outcomes for people

  • Participants express enjoyment and enormous pride in successfully documenting their heritage in this film made at Glamorgan Archives, which can be viewed on Youtube. 
    “We’ve enjoyed working… [at the archives]. It’s been a pleasure to find out how things have altered over the years.”
  • Participants gained new skills including conducting oral history interviews, using video cameras, and researching and curating an exhibition.
  • Visitors to the exhibition learnt about the experiences of those living at the hospital and the struggles faced by people with learning disabilities when being settled into the community: “very interesting and informative, particularly in relation to how attitudes and the care aspect has changed over time.”
  • Over 350 people learned about disability heritage through attending one of ten themed workshops. Professionals in Cardiff continue to learn as the project is now included in care work training provided by a private care home and local police training on working with people with learning disabilities.

How the project achieved HLF’s outcomes for communities

  • The project was led by a group often underrepresented in heritage. A wider range of people new to heritage also contributed to the project as interviewees and exhibition designers, including seven students from Cardiff University Art College.

Find out more about outcomes

Lessons learnt

Some exhibition visitors responded emotionally. It was important that everyone was able to share their thoughts and feelings, either by writing down comments or speaking to staff and volunteers. Members of the project team had not timetabled nor budgeted for a daily staff presence at the exhibition and found this difficult; it could be challenging dealing with visitors’ emotions.

The project received a large amount of press coverage both locally and nationally. Taking time to meet the press led to a six day feature in a local paper but CPF felt they would have benefited from producing a communications strategy at the beginning of the process. Support was offered by the HLF press office when needed. Articles about Ely can be accessed on the Whitchurch Hospital Historical website.

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