SRA wins £10,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant

Heritage Lottery Fund

We are very proud to report that the Sopwell Residents Association (SRA) is one of the first groups in the UK to receive a Heritage Lottery Fund "All Our Stories" Grant.

Our project "More Memories of Sopwell" has been given £10,000 to continue the oral history work and broaden the historical research undertaken by the Sopwell Project.

"All Our Stories" is a brand new small grant programme that was launched earlier this year by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in support of BBC Two’s "The Great British Story".

The popular BBC series, presented by historian Michael Wood and supported by a programme of BBC Learning activities and events, got thousands of people asking questions about their history and inspired them to look at history in a different way through the eyes of ordinary people.

The programme and HLF "All Our Stories" proved to be a real hit and now "More Memories of Sopwell" is one of hundreds of successful projects around the UK to receive a grant.

The grant for "More Memories of Sopwell" will be used to continue to expand the Sopwell Project – researching the history, collecting reported facts and stories relating to the Sopwell area – by involving more residents, including schoolchildren and the more recent migrants to the area.

There will be several workshops to identify potential interviewees and later to share the information collected, a dedicated interactive website and a series of leaflets describing history walks around the area.

It is hoped that the website will complement the existing publication "Sopwell: a history and collection of memories" in providing a wonderful resource to help everyone to learn about, and celebrate the heritage on their doorstep.

TV presenter and historian Michael Wood said: “We love our history, and no wonder; few nations in the world, if any, have such riches on their doorsteps, and so much of it accessible to all of us. It is really tremendous that the people of Sopwell have been inspired to get involved to tell their own story and to dig deeper into their own past. It’s brilliant that so many people have been given the chance to get involved through the All Our Stories grants. Having travelled the length and breadth of the British Isles this last year filming The Great British Story, I am certain that fascinating and moving stories will be uncovered which will not only bring the excitement of local history, but will illuminate and enrich every community’s connection with the national narrative.”

Commenting on the award, our own Sandy Norman, said: “This is brilliant news for the Sopwell community and a recognition of the work we have already done on recording our heritage.”

Robin Llewellyn, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England, said: “Clearly the success of All Our Stories has reinforced the fact that we are indeed a nation of storytellers and that we want to explore and dig deeper into our past and discover more about what really matters to us. This is exactly what the grant will do for the More Memories of Sopwell project as they embark on a real journey of discovery.”