The WEA has an important role to play in promoting heritage and culture. We have courses in various regions created by our volunteers that allow learners to participate in the many projects we deliver. We have an 'exceptionally talented team' of tutors delivering our regular courses.
EXPLORING THE IMPACT OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR ON HEREFORDSHIRE.
In September 2014, the WEA West Midlands was awarded funding through 'Heritage Lottery Fund’s' 'First World War':'Then and Now programme'.
The funding was for a "13 month project"- Exploring the Impact of World War One in Herefordshire.
It was designed to enable rural based communities to explore and learn about 'the heritage of the First World War' in- and- around Herefordshire and to serve to increase their knowledge of 'the impact of war' on places and communities within the County.
A team of dedicated and experienced volunteers from 'WEA Hereford' and 'WEA Ledbury' branches worked with WEA staff (Katherine Brown, Project Co-ordinator), to create a programme of engaging educational visits, talks and workshop sessions,increasing knowledge and understanding of what life was like in Herefordshire and its surrounding areas during the Great War.
A total of 11 activities took place between October 2014 and September 2015 delivered by WEA tutors and other highly respected historians, academics and researchers. Working in partnership with local archive and resource centre's, the project also raised awareness of the rich collections held locally. The project explored the significance of local places and popular culture with First World War associations.
A range of community venues (museums, resource centres, village halls and Churches) together with local experts (visiting speakers, WEA tutors, museum archivists and curators) in Hereford, Ledbury and surrounding-areas helped reach a wide range of people, particularly adults that would not typically engage in heritage-related programmes.
EXPECTED OUTCOMES FOR PARTICIPANTS WERE:
- An increased understanding of the impact of war on places within and around Herefordshire.
- An increased awareness of local expertise, collections, museums and archives already available within their area
The project was a success and provided a positive and helped to provide a lasting difference to the community. The project helped to increase the knowledge of places within the county associated with the Great War and the impact Word War One had on the county as a whole.
The project success was based upon the interest generated by the community and fostered a new interest in using local collections and resources to research the past.
KEY OUTCOMES OF THE PROJECT
222 completed feedback forms were received from learners.
– 78%, reported increased knowledge about places associated with WW1
– 90%, reported increased understanding of the impact of WW1
– 59%, reported being more aware of local collections and resources
– 80%, enjoyed finding out about the heritage of WW1
– 94%, rated learning experience as ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’
Herefordshire and World War One publication
This is a short video with highlights from a WW1 project celebration event held by the Workers' Educational Association in the West Midlands (WEA). Background: In September 2014 the WEA West Midlands was awarded funding through Heritage Lottery Fund's First World War: then and now programme.