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Bradford: My Place – My People. Innovative community project offers exciting volunteering opportunity

posted 3 Nov 2012, 08:36 by Paul Brayford   [ updated 1 Feb 2016, 15:23 ]
Friday 2nd November 2012

Are you interested in getting your hands dirty with a Time Team – style archaeological dig or perhaps you would like to share stories of local heritage with young people? If you are, then the My Place project needs you!

West Yorkshire Joint Services, in partnership with Bradford City Council, is about to launch its My Place initiative, focussing on two important communities in Bradford and Keighley, the local heritage of those neighbourhoods, and the people, places and memories that make up the richness of those communities. Supported by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the project will use two local ‘hubs’ - Cliffe Castle in Keighley and Bolling Hall in Bradford, and young people from more than 20 neighbouring schools will explore the history of their localities and communities through the study and use of historical and archival sources, historic buildings and landscapes, hands-on archaeological excavations and historical interpretation drama workshops. 

As part of a two year programme, with schools and community activities running until July 2014, there will be a range of workshops, archaeological excavations, celebration events and exhibitions promoting the work. The sessions will be focussing on the non physical heritage of memories, identity, examining changes and developments in the community, as well as the physical heritage of historic buildings, archaeology sites, museums collections and archives where we will be asking for community involvement and participation.

How can the local community get involved?

A large number of community organisations have offered themselves as volunteers, with the opportunity of learning new skills including: researching and interpreting community heritage, oral history reminiscence interviews and recording and archaeological excavation and recording techniques, as well as event and project management.

However, the My Place project is also looking for local residents to get involved and take advantage of the fantastic volunteering opportunities. They could be part of the team of volunteers sharing their experience about growing up or working in the local community, digging with the young people at one of the summer’s excavations or learning how to curate, preserve and archive finds, documents and local history. If local heritage, conservation and exploration is their interest, then this could be their thing.

For more information about community volunteering and community opportunities, please contact: Hayley Briggs – / Rachel Tapp –

Graham Hebblethwaite, Chief Officer of West Yorkshire Joint Services, which is co-ordinating the project, said: “This project provides an excellent opportunity not only to engage the young residents of Bradford and Keighley with their past, but also to encourage them to consider how they can ensure our shared heritage is preserved for the future “.

Councillor for Neil Taggart of the Archives, Archaeology and Trading Standards Committee said, “This project is a wonderful initiative to encourage the young people and local residents to engage with their heritage and communities. The more we understand about our local history, the more we can learn to appreciate it and ensure it is there for future generations to discover and enjoy If you’re interested in local history, have memories you’d love to share with young people, want to learn new skills and experience activities such as real life archaeology excavations, then we need you. “