Collaboration and partnership working is key to our project success and the support from the Heritage Lottery Fund has enabled us to undertake this exciting project. Dr Rebecca Clifford of Swansea University is leading our project and it will form part of the Connected Communities Programme that researches and celebrates the history of communities across the Swansea Valley. The project has been developed by Teresa Hillier and Kate Spiller at the history department and the Research Institute for Arts and Humanities (RIAH) at Swansea University. Professor David Turner will bring expertise in disability history, public engagement and project management. The partner organisations that we are working with are:
Swansea Vale Resource Centre – this is where some of the individuals who used to attend Longfields now go. Andy Price is our key contact and together with those at the Resource Centre memories of Longfields will be shared. Through looking at photographs and gathering memorabilia we can start to put together Longfields history and plan ahead for our exhibition.
West Glamorgan Archives Service houses the ‘Longfields Collection’ and Kim Collis, County Archivist and his team will be working with us. The collection is a valuable resource for the project which as well holding historical documents relating to Longfields also has an archive of newspaper cuttings, photographs and publicity information. In addition there is some footage of the opening of the Grove School in the Uplands.
The National Waterfront Museum is where we will hold the project exhibition in May 2018. Steph Mastoris, Head of the National Waterfront Museum in Wales and his team will share their expertise in designing our exhibition.
Scope, the Disability Charity is supporting the project by giving access to a network of disabled volunteers and by sharing their knowledge of disabled people’s history. Alex White, Scope’s Information Content Manager is our key contact and will engage with the project by exchanging memories and archive materials.
Hazel Thomas from People’s Collection, Wales will be involved in community engagement activities where photographs and other memorabilia will be revealed. Digitisation training days will be held and digitised materials will be uploaded to an interactive forum and shared via People’s Collection Wales.
Gwilym Games from Swansea Central Library Service (Swansea Council) will work with us in accessing the varied resources available through the Local Studies collection. They hold archival copies of the South Wales Evening Post which can be searched for press coverage of Longfields. This will reveal the changing role and impact of the organisation over a period of time. In addition the project will have use of the Discovery Room in the Central Library which is perfect for holding community events and for undertaking training sessions.
Dr Angie Turner from Strathclyde University will advise in the design of memory gathering and artistic sessions for individuals with limited communication. Angie has already collaborated with Swansea University working on the Disability and Industrial Society project.