in better condition – through our recent community consultation events we established that a lot of unidentified heritage exists in the area in the form of old photos, newspaper cuttings, sound clips, historical artefacts and much more. Through this project, the four groups we will work alongside will be undertaking training for basic heritage skills such as archiving, oral history techniques and document repair so as to ensure that some if not all of these heritage items are preserved in the right way for future generations. This method will allow us to ensure that the heritage we are dealing with is left in a better condition than when we started and also is now recorded and interpreted for other people to enjoy and learn from.
Be better interpreted and explained – the community are absolutely critical to this component of the project and without them the project just wouldn’t work. All of the four groups involved in the project delivery will receive training relating to many different aspects of their heritage to ensure that all of the stories and artefacts being interpreted are done so properly so that people will have a better understanding of the heritage within the area.
Be identified/recorded – A large part of this project will involve the four groups receiving training so as they can better identify and record their heritage ensuring that it allows for it to be protected for future generations to explore and enjoy. We will also be working alongside these groups to assist them with the development oftheir interpretation in the form of exhibitions that will be accessible throughout West Belfast for others to engage and be made more aware of the fascinating stories that exist. As a result of this project people will have:
Developed skills – We plan to deliver a series of training workshops throughout the project whereby the four groups and any other interested members of the community will be given the opportunity to acquire a series of different skills relating to heritage projects such as oral history techniques, digital archiving, document repair and restoration, heritage research, flora and fauna identification, habitat protection and social media tools. We will ensure that a proper training provider is sourced for this although some of our organisations who are represented on our working group have already offered to assist with the delivery of some of the training elements.
Learnt about heritage – By involving members of the community in this project we hope that each and everyone of them will learn something about their heritage. Through the training workshops, it is hoped that groups and individuals will each gain an invaluable insight into the heritage of their area. Through the project exhibition it is hoped that visitors from outside the area will learn about the fantastic stories that exist within Upper Springfield.
Changed their attitudes and/or behaviour – Our project is very much rooted in the community and we believe that we can engage with some of the youth in the area using heritage as the main vehicle. There currently exists an environment of anti social behaviour in and around Black Mountain and we hope to work with these young people to teach them about their heritage and the natural heritage that exists on the mountain. We hope that involving them will allow them to realise the crucial importance of their own native place and the fascinating stories that shaped where they live and the rich natural heritage on the mountain may change their attitudes to where they go or do at weekends or evenings. We aim to try and instil an element of pride in all of the groups and individuals we work alongside so that they too can promote the heritage to others.
-Had an enjoyable experience – It is our aim to ensure that all of those who volunteer their time to take part in the project will have an enjoyable experience. We will regularly consult with them to see how we can improve and remove any barriers preventing them from enjoying participating in the project.
Your local area/community will be a better place to live, work or visit – Heritage is all around us in our street names, on our mountainside, influenced business names and of course the stories told in the local shop or pub on a daily basis. When you have a better understanding of this heritage in your area it gives you that little bit more pride in living and working there and creates a certain sense of ownership of the land. We believe these outcomes can be met through a series of project initiatives that we plan to deliver.
Interpretation initiative to allow local volunteers to take part in some participatory action research in the local area alongside an established ethnographic researcher from Queens University Belfast with the aim of creating a series of interpretive stories that will be accessible via a new website.
Comprehensive and accredited training programmes on the research, ethics, sensitivities and complexities of oral history gathering will be carried out by our steering groups partners QUOTE and DÚCHAS.
Digital archiving methodologies – we will engage the expertise of Roddy Hegarty and the Cardinal Ó Fiaich library in Armagh, who have agreed to provide practical training programmes for volunteers and community groups.
Talks series and Heritage roadshow event – We plan to hold an interactive talks series whereby we will invite selected speakers to give a talk to members of the community and those involved with the project on different aspects of natural and cultural heritage. We also plan to stage a heritage roadshow in the Glor NaMona building whereby we will invite members of the community to come along and bring an item that they feel is representative of their heritage – we will have a representative from the Ulster Museum present at this event to give a talk on community based heritage and history. People can have their item photographed and their story documented to go onto our new interactive website.
We plan to have a physical exhibition which will include the creation of a short documentary showcasing the project and some of the heritage contained which will be showcased in various locations throughout the city beyond the life of the project itself. We also plan to create a series of educational booklets which will be disseminated throughout the local schools, youth clubs and sporting organisations in the local area.
We also plan to work with a local film production and training company to train up volunteers and young people in video archiving and film editing and production who will contribute centrally to the final product of a 30-minute history/heritage documentary capturing the essence of the project.