Lottery funding to help train Redbridge’s historians of the future

Students Joel Blackledge (right), Steve Rolling (left) and Lwan Tesfay at Eastside Community Heritag

Students Joel Blackledge (right), Steve Rolling (left) and Lwan Tesfay at Eastside Community Heritage - Credit: Archant

Young historians of the future will be trained and equipped with the skills to document the communities we live in thanks to lottery funding.

Eastside Community Heritage, Ilford Lane, Ilford, has won development funding of £256,650 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for its New Oral Historians Traineeship project.

The ambitious project will see 10 young trainees recruited for a year-long paid traineeship programme which will give them experience working in the heritage sector. They will also be guided in developing community heritage schemes and projects.

The project is the first in the county to develop an NVQ level 3 in oral history collection and is being supported by a number of partners, including Redbridge Museum, Clements Road, Ilford.

Oral history is the collection and study of information about people, families and everyday life using audio tapes, video tapes or transcriptions.

The money from the Heritage Lottery Fund is from its Skills for the Future programme.

Judith Garfield, executive director of Eastside community heritage, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for young people from the local community.

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“The project will provide training and act as an important stepping stone for young people to gain employment and further training within the sector, particularly in east London.”

After the year-long training, including working on, recording and documenting the history of people’s lives in London, the trainees will gain a qualification in oral history.

Geoff Bell, chairman of Eastside, said: “Eastside has also stood for telling the history of local communities and the disadvantaged, but it is important that those who work in heritage also reflect the wider society. That is what motivates us.”

The Heritage Lottery Fund’s funding is a show of “initial support” in the project, with fully developed proposals to be submitted to secure the amount.

Eastside Community Heritage was founded in 1993 and created the East London Peoples Archive, which now holds more than 1,800 oral histories and thousands of photos and video material.