Project exhibition opening speech

For the opening of the exhibition, David Rogers, trustee of digital works, gave our thanks and appreciation to the many people that have been involved throughout the project.

staged photo

digital:works are a small arts and education charity. Our work rests on the principles of participation with local communities, in the context of a creative multi-media approach. The Charity emphasises the active involvement of both young and old in the delivery of project work.

The project started a year ago when digital works drafted an outline and approached a number of potential partners to be involved. Through meetings with partners the project evolved into the one we see here today. Along with the partners the other major contribution to the success of the project has been the volunteers who have been involved. We had a core group of older volunteers and a much larger group of young volunteers from Thomas Hardy School.

Our Thanks go to all the project partners AgeUK, POPP, U3A, Dorset history Centre, Dorset County Museum, Thomas Hardy School and especially to the Heritage Lottery Fund, who funded this project. Within these organisations we’d especially like to thank;

Hilary Foggo At AgeUK, and Sue Warr at POPP; two early project partners, who bought some stimulating ideas into the projects ambition. In particular they added the creation of the app into the projects aims.

To Sam Johnston, Maria Gayton, and Cassandra Johnson at Dorset history Centre. Who have facilitated some great sessions and introduced us to the concept of collecting extra data to go into making the archive usable. The memories people have shared with us have been fascinating and I do hope you can find the time to visit The Dorset history Centre to hear these interviews in full.

To Yvonne Rossiter at U3A. Who helped promote the projects activities.

To Mark Richardson and Dr Tim Ennion at Thomas Hardy school. Their enthusiasm and support throughout has been much appreciated. They see practical projects like this one can enrich students curriculum life and they hope to introduce more projects like this within the schools activities and we wish them every success with this ambition. We’d Also would like to thank all the young people at the school who have given their time to the project.

To Jon Murden and Helen Sergeant, at Dorset County Museum who helped curate and stage this fantastic exhibition. For their time and commitment throughout the project. And in staging an informative early educational workshop on exhibition design, which both young and old volunteers collaborated for the first time.

Lastly and most importantly I’d like to thank all the community volunteers who have spent time and energy on this project. Thanks go to Trevor Bevins, Jackie Allan, Anna Lovell, Lynne and John Coombe, Alice Lazenby, Enid Evans, dot stephenson, Maddy Duke, Amy Hopwood, and Gillian Smith. They have all helped and supported The project in numerous ways, working tirelessly behind-the-scenes to make this project a great success with over 65 oral history interviews being conducted.

Quote from The Heritage Lottery Fund

‘The Heritage Lottery Fund was delighted to be able to support Digital:Works with this exciting intergenerational project, which has provided the opportunity for both young and older people in West Dorset to share their memories and experiences of leisure time since the end of the Second World War.  Research tends to show that we all have more leisure time now than was the case in the past, but we use it in very different ways, especially since the advent of television and the enormous growth in the various forms of information technology.  As a result of the ‘Free Time:Our Stories of Leisure’ project a team of volunteer investigators has been able to acquire the skills needed to collect and compare the leisure time stories of 3 different generations, highlighting the enormous changes that have taken place in the last 60 or so years in how we use our free time.  The intriguing stories collected so far have been shared more widely on the project’s website and have helped to create the fascinating exhibition being launched today; the project will also enable the development of a phone app.

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