Ilford project receives grant to keep borough’s heritage alive

A project documenting the lives of people in east London has been given more than �100,000 to train eight new historians.

Eastside Community Heritage has collected about 1700 recordings of people talking about their life experiences which have been carefully archived.

The trainees will receive a bursary of �10,000, undergo training for nine months and receive an NVQ Level 3 qualification.

Executive director Judith Garfield, 46, said: “If you don’t record people’s history then it gets lost which can make history narrow and boring. We all have history and if we don’t record it now, it’s going to be lost forever.”

The project received �134,000 to teach the trainees how to record and interview people as well as how to design and market exhibits.


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“Training young people in oral history gives them transferable skills such as using different equipment, improved communication and video training” she said.

The project began in 1993 and has recorded hundred of people recalling their life experiences from former dock workers to recollections about particular people.

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“There were some nurses in Redbridge who came over to the UK during the 1960’s from the West Indies to help create the NHS and they had dedicated their lives to the care of others, their dedication and caring for others was incredible.”

One of the current trainees has been working for the centre, based in Ilford Lane, Ilford, for the past four months. Although she had previously worked for Ilford Library she said the project has given her more diverse skills which can be applied to other roles.

Aisha Iftikhar, 25, from Gants Hill, said: “I’ve had the opportunity to run projects from designing the exhibition to doing the marketing. One of the projects I ran was about a policeman who had fascinating relationships with people, he would at stop each shop asking ‘hello, is everything ok?’ After he died they named two centres after him. Lots of people move into the area and so it could get lost who he was.”

Application for the eight available positions begins at the end of July. Contact office@ech.org.uk for more information.

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