Thinking back to the start of the project, we have achieved so much. We carried out the oral history training with the students in all four schools, so they could do interviews and be interviewed themselves. They also helped us by collecting lots of information through questionnaires and we also did some research training at Birmingham Library.
At the end of the project, Joe visited Dame Ellen, Fox Hollies and Victoria school on his own and I went with him Mayfield school. We both said our goodbyes to the students and thanked them for all their hard work on the project, presenting them with certificates and copies of the magazine. I found it emotional but in a happy way. There wasn’t the grand event we wanted at the University, but they got to share with classmates all the hard work they have done over the last year.
It was so lovely to see the students at Mayfield receiving the magazines and seeing the excitement of them reading their work and looking at the other schools. This gives a great sense of achievement of how much the project has meant to them and how much they have enjoyed working with us. It was so lovely to see them one last time. I will really miss working with them and going to visit the schools. All the staff and teachers have been really friendly and supportive towards the project. I feel really sad that we are coming up to our last few days of the project, because going into the schools and training the children to become Oral History Recorders has given me great confidence, too.
Although I have worked on a Heritage Project before, I feel this project has allowed me to further develop my skills. I’ve been doing interviews on my own and preparing for the sessions. I have also learnt how to post onto our website, and put a magazine and exhibition together online. I am going to really miss the project. It has given me so many skills and a great sense of achievement and gratitude to be a part of it.
I hope now our project will be a way forward for a positive future for people with learning disabilities, I would like to thank everyone that we interviewed for their stories.
I am going to really miss the steering group, and everyone that we have worked with. Thank you everyone. Our online exhibition is now available from the home page of this website. Please share it with everyone you know who would be interested in reading the stories. We have worked so hard with our designer, Nerea, on making all these materials available, so we’d like to say thanks to her, too.
I would just like to end by thanking Joe, it has been a joy to work with him and I will miss us being a team and our weekly supervision. He has been a brilliant supervisor throughout. I don’t think I would got through working from home without him and all his support during the project. We will continue telling these stories and making sure people understand more about the lives of people with Learning Disabilities.