The initial phase of this conception emanated from two smaller youth heritage projects one of which we managed and the other which we were working in partnership alongside one of our local youth clubs. The most significant aspect of both these smaller youth heritage initiatives has been the phenomenal levels of interests in the local community where information days, film screenings and storytelling events have been packed to capacity with local people with an insatiable thirst to reclaim their heritage and reconnect to their local place.
Moreover, many local people and specific groups have come to us enquiring about whether we would be interested in helping them uncover aspects of other elements to the Upper Springfield’s eclectic and multi-faceted story of community development and renewal. This realisation has very much been the driver for this project which aims to encapsulate the full potential of our local heritage assets whilst retaining our commitment to participatory action research and community co-creation.
In the aftermath of our health and well-being festival, Féile na gClóigíní Gorma held last May, which focused on utilising our local natural, environmental assets over a hugely successful week-long festival, we decided to pull together a working group to look at the potential of harnessing the heritage and local history potential of the Upper Springfield area in a coherent way. We invited a number of organisations and stakeholders who had been working with us directly and indirectly in various projects and initiatives.
Members of the working group have provided us with letters of support from their own organisations which we have included with this new application.