Stockpiling Stories

ur outreach project during the COVID-19 outbreak of 2020 was nominated for the national Kids in Museums ‘Family Friendly Museum Award From Home’.

Stockpiling Stories Logo v2 (1)

Whilst many people are stockpiling loo roll, at Dacorum Heritage Trust we were stockpiling stories!

During 2020 here at DHT we wanted to help engage children in worthwhile and purposeful educational activities, as well as help reduce the negative impact for elderly people who felt isolated through social distancing. We thought that this project would be a fantastic way for your child to

  •  enjoy a fun and creative activity with real purpose
  • learn about techniques for historical enquiry, recent history and their local area
  • develop their literacy and social skills
  • make a positive difference to the mental wellbeing of our community during the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus

Children were asked to write to an elderly volunteer, who is self-isolating, to find out what life was like living in Dacorum in the past.  Similarly older people who are self-isolating were invited to share their stories with our young researchers. Their stories were an invaluable educational tool for children unable to attend school due to the coronavirus, as well as contributing to the museum’s collection of local stories and future exhibitions.

How did ‘Stockpiling Stories’ work?

Once you have signed up, all children will be emailed a starter pack on a topic.  This pack included some background information about the topic, space for the child to draw a picture and write a little bit about themselves and their interests.  Also included will be some suggested questions about the topic and an opportunity for the children to add their own questions.  These were check it and pass it on to one of our elderly volunteers who answered the questions and emailed their responses back to us. These then were checked and passed on to your child via your email address, along with a new template for another topic so the correspondence can continue.

Why did the museum do this?

At Dacorum Heritage Trust we aim to collect, preserve and record the history of the Borough of Dacorum. One of the ways we do this is by collecting the personal stories and histories of the people that live and have lived in Dacorum.  With new restrictions in place as a result of the COVID 19 we are unable to carry out many of our normal outreach projects.  Therefore this project allowed us to continue to engage with a wide audience, generate interest and appreciation of the heritage of Dacorum.

Here are two links to some of the work the participants created…

Staff at the grocery shop in Queen's Street, Hemel Hempstead

Stockpiling stories – High Street theme

Stockpiling Stories - childhood theme

Stockpiling Stories – childhood theme

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The Dacorum Heritage Trust Ltd.

The Museum Store, Clarence Road, Berkhamsted, Herts HP4 3YL

Telephone/Fax 01442 879525   Email info@dacorumheritage.org.uk

Registered in England No. 2851313 | Registered Charity No. 1026161 | Accredited Museum No. 1594 | Status: Fully accredited museum.