Stockpiling Stories

A new outreach project during the COVID-19 outbreak

Stockpiling Stories Logo v2 (1)

Welcome to ‘Stockpiling Stories’ a new project from Dacorum Heritage Trust.

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

During this difficult time we would like to help engage children in worthwhile and purposeful educational activities, as well as help reduce the negative impact for elderly people who feel isolated through social distancing. We think 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

We need young people of all ages to help us become historic researchers and willing elderly volunteers to share their stories.

Children will be asked to write to an elderly volunteer, who is self-isolating, to find out what life was like living in Dacorum in the past. We will then try to match children up with an elderly volunteer living in their own town and will provide templates, which will include questions to help them with their research.

Older people who are self-isolating will similarly be invited to share their stories with our young researchers. Their stories will be 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.

Correspondences between the generations will be directed via staff from The Dacorum Heritage Trust.  Therefore contact details will not be directly shared with participants.  Staff will also check all correspondences to make sure it is appropriate and safe for all participants before we send it on.

How will ‘Stockpiling Stories’ work?

Once you have signed up, all children will be emailed a starter pack on a topic.  This pack will include 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.

Completed digitally or printed out and written the template would need to be emailed to project@dacorumheritage.org.uk with any accompanying artwork scanned or photographed.  We will then check it and pass it on to one of our elderly volunteers who will answer the questions and email their responses back to us. These will then be 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 is the museum doing 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 coronavirus we are unable to carry out many of our normal outreach projects.  Therefore this project will allow us to continue to engage as wide an audience as possible with our collection to generate interest and appreciation of the heritage of Dacorum.

‘Stockpiling Stories’ has been started to help:

  • maintain community engagement in the heritage of Dacorum during the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus
  • support inter-generational social interaction during a period of time when individuals are unable to socialise in the usual way
  • reduce feelings of isolation for individuals and provide a purposeful and sociable activity that can be carried out at home
  • collect valuable personal stories which will be added to the Dacorum Heritage Trust Collection for use in future displays and events
  • children learn new skills in historical research, develop literacy and social skills and learn to value the history of their local area
  • provide support for parents and guardians trying to engage their children in meaningful and educational activities at home

HOW TO JOIN IN

If you or your child is interested in joining this project and/or you know an elderly person socially distancing themselves who would like to volunteer to share their stories please get in touch with us at Dacorum Heritage Trust by emailing project@dacorumheritage.org.uk

Let’s make a positive difference at this difficult time

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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.