St Helens Library Service wins National Lottery funding

Councillor Anthony Burns (end left) pictured with St Helens Library & Archive staff (Photo taken earlier this year before national lockdown measures were introduced)

St Helens Library Service has been awarded £86,300 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) for an exciting new project to enable its Archive Service to develop its collections and help to preserve local memories.

The ‘St Helens Oral History Project’ will be made possible by money raised by National Lottery players and follows on from the success of previous funded projects, ‘St Helens Through The Lens’ (2016) and ‘St Helens Community Archive’ (2018).

Over 100 oral and video history interviews will be conducted as part of this project, with a wide ranging and diverse mix of individuals in order to reflect and represent the different communities that call St Helens Borough home. These recordings will become a permanent part of the archive collections; preserved for future generations and will be added to the online St Helens Community Archive website so that people can easily access them.

The project will include the recruitment of a new project coordinator, a freelance filmmaker and freelance oral historians, sound and media artists. As well as the collection of interviews, there will be various outreach events and activities including work with primary and secondary schools to develop oral history skills of pupils and teachers.

A spokesperson for St Helens Borough Council said “St Helens Borough has such a rich history and heritage which we’re proud to shout about, so we’re delighted to have secured this funding which is all down to National Lottery players.

“I know from past experiences, projects like this have resulted in special, heart touching moments such as residents seeing photographs and hearing voice recording of relatives they didn’t have the chance of meeting in life – so if we’re able to make memories like this again, then it will be worthwhile.”

For more information about the project. if you would like to volunteer or put yourself forward to be interviewed, please get in touch by emailing archives@sthelens.gov.uk or calling 01744 671748.

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