How Our Lottery Grant Fund Unearthed a Rich Seam of History to Tell All Our Stories; from Shaolin Martial Arts to One of Our Most Famous Hymn Writers, Jennifer Stewart, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund Wales, Discusses a New Grant Programme That Aims to Inspire Communities across the Country to Delve into Their Past

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), December 5, 2012 | Go to article overview

How Our Lottery Grant Fund Unearthed a Rich Seam of History to Tell All Our Stories; from Shaolin Martial Arts to One of Our Most Famous Hymn Writers, Jennifer Stewart, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund Wales, Discusses a New Grant Programme That Aims to Inspire Communities across the Country to Delve into Their Past


FROM exploring the experiences of blind and partially-sighted people from the 1800s onwards, to interpreting the history of Ruabon and Wrexham via Shaolin martial arts, a host of fascinating projects has been given the green light thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund's All Our Stories grant programme.

This new programme, which has awarded grants of between PS3,000-PS10,000 to community and history groups, residents' associations and charities, was developed alongside BBC Two's history series, The Great British Story - A People's History.

Its aim was to encourage communities to get involved in local heritage by making the process of applying for smaller grants much easier.

Launched in April, All Our Stories captured the public's imagination. We received almost 60 grant applications and quadrupled the original sum set aside, supporting 31 projects in all, with a total fund of PS255,200.

The programme's success has reinforced the fact that Wales has a wealth of stories to tell and that we want to explore our past and discover more about what really matters to us.

This is exactly what the All Our Stories grant will achieve for RNIB Cymru, awarded PS10,000 to run a year-long project called Insight into the Past which will chart society's changing attitudes towards blind and partially-sighted people.

The project will also record people's experiences and document the development of services. Workshops will be held across Wales and a DVD and booklet, including audio, large-print and Braille formats, will be produced.

The project's findings will be presented to the National Museum of Wales and a grand event will be held next summer celebrating both the project and the opening of a new centre of excellence run jointly by RNIB Cymru and the Cardiff Institute for the Blind at Jones Court, Womanby Street, Cardiff.

In North-East Wales, Cymdeithas Cyfeillion Hafan Shaolin Cymru will help communities in the Wrexham and Ruabon areas rediscover their heritage, using Shaolin martial arts to tell stories about local history and Welsh-language culture.

Supported by Wrexham Museum, Ruabon and Wrexham libraries and professional filmmakers, young participants will visit Dinas Bran Iron Age hillfort, Offa's Dyke and historical buildings in Ruabon to research the project.

A DVD, Shaolin Kung Fu performance, leaflets, book and photographic record will be produced as part of the project, which received a grant of PS9,900.

In Swansea, Treboeth Historical Society has been awarded a PS4,100 grant to produce an animated film looking at the life of poet and hymn writer Daniel James (1848-1920), also known by his bardic name 'Gwyrosydd', who wrote one of our most popular hymns, Calon Lan. …

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How Our Lottery Grant Fund Unearthed a Rich Seam of History to Tell All Our Stories; from Shaolin Martial Arts to One of Our Most Famous Hymn Writers, Jennifer Stewart, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund Wales, Discusses a New Grant Programme That Aims to Inspire Communities across the Country to Delve into Their Past
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