Exploring HLF Community Based Archive Project: The George Padmore Institute

On 28th March we held a joint event with the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) at Bruce Castle.
The idea behind the event was to showcase our current Dream to Change the World archive project as a successful HLF-funded project and to share lessons and advice with groups who are thinking of applying for HLF funding or who are already in the process of applying for a grant.
The event began with a delicious lunch in the Old Kitchen at Bruce Castle. It was a beautiful sunny day, so people could move outside and it was a great opportunity to meet with each other, share experiences, ideas and advice, and find out about interesting projects. There was also the opportunity to view our latest website which was on display. We then moved into the lecture theatre.
The event was Chaired by Michael Murray (HLF Development Manager) and began with a short excerpt from the film Dream to Change the World by Horace Ove about the life of John La Rose, introduced by Sarah White, Secretary of the GPI. This was followed by an illustrated talk delivered by Sarah Garrod, GPI Archivist, showing some of John La Rose’s personal archives, from correspondence and family photographs to poetry and reports scribbled into notebooks. Examples of the archives were included in a table display showing the breadth of material in the collection.
A presentation by Maureen Roberts gave us the latest news from the London Metropolitan Archives and their work with BAME collections including the Huntley Archives.
Michael Murray then delivered a talk on HLF funding for archives and related projects, with a Q and A session for delegates present.
The event concluded with a lively panel discussion led by Wesley Kerr, Chairman of HLF Committee for London and GPI delegates Sarah White, Sarah Garrod, Kate Duncan and Sharmilla Beezmohun, plus Michael Murray (HLF Development Manager). This format worked particularly well and allowed for full audience participation.
The event was well attended by about 40 people from a number of groups and organisations, both from archives and local community groups. There was time for serious discussion but also for laughter in a positive and relaxed atmosphere.
We feel that the event was a great success. We had lots of positive feedback from delegates and numerous people said they found it very helpful and interesting.
We’d like to say a big thank you to the staff at Bruce Castle, especially Deborah Hedgecock, for all their help; to Michael Murray and his team at the HLF for suggesting the event and for all the work they put into organising it; to Wesley Kerr for Chairing the panel discussion; to Maureen at the LMA for her very helpful presentation and to all the delegates who attended the event.