Funding Success Stories (Westminster): The Home for Good History Project

Innovation Fund Feedback from our friends at The Passage

the history project 2The Passage was awarded the Innovation Fund to ensure people build a fulfilling life after the trauma of homelessness, maintain their tenancies and flourish in new communities by providing a homelessness prevention project. The project is due to run up until end of financial year 2019.

The project had a really positive impact on the well-being of participants as many of the group were over the age of sixty. Getting out and visiting new places was very stimulating for them; enabling them to achieve the “taking notice” and “being active” elements of the project, which were most useful to their physical and mental health.

Group participants were involved with all the planning and preparation of the project. The History Project visited the following museums: Victoria & Albert; Science; London (both City & Docklands) Imperial War; Natural History; Maritime; Childhood; Migration; Cinema including tour and talk and a workshop at The Chocolate Museum in Brixton.

The group participated in an online “scavenger hunt” at the British Museum, (embedding IT) listened to a lecture at The Old Operating Theatre (listening skills), took part in a tour about teeth at the Wellcome Collection (discussion) and visited the National Portrait Gallery.

The History Project was able to build several partnerships with Westminster Archives which led to a tour of Central St Martin’s School and a “take-over” session in the archive studio and the group got involved in the careful restoration of old theatre programmes.

They experienced a fascinating tour at The Tate Britain organised by the community contact. The British Museum was very generous to the project with free tickets to private views of their special exhibitions; Rodin, Dissent and Albukhary Foundation of the Islamic World. The group also brought some fascinating items from the collection for the group to handle and investigate more closely.

The History Project has more activities planned and aim to continue into the spring of 2019.

Thirty-six different people participated; eight of those attended for more than seven visits with the highest attendee participating in fifteen visits. Eight people attended three or four times, often due to other commitments such as hospital appointments taking priority.

The History Project was able to use testimonies and photographs from the project to publicise their service and provide additional opportunities for volunteers to get more involved with their service as well as our clients.

Our day in Greenwich started with a ferry trip from Westminster Pier to Greenwich. The journey was made even more enjoyable by the ferry crew providing a narrative. Despite having lived in the Capital since 1977, I learned several interesting facts!”

“Upon arriving at Greenwich pier, our lunch was in a Pie ’n’ Mash shop, the first time I have ever eaten in such an establishment. Considering my various health problems and restricted diets requirements, the lunch was…interesting and enjoyable. My only problem was managing the staircase in the shop, but the group always makes allowances for my restricted mobility”.

“I have never been in the Maritime Museum before, so found it a new and wondrous experience. Several of my clan have been seafarers, so it was eye-opening to see and read about Royal Navy life in the 18th century onwards. One scary exhibit was the ‘shot’ used in hand weapons; the actual size of the shot was frightening. I was amazed that they had on display an undershirt that belonged to Admiral Lord Nelson, with one long and one shortened sleeve. The naval uniform was of interest to me, because of my former jobs – I was able to explain some facts to members of our group and they did seem genuinely interested. It helped make the Greenwich trip a fun day out.”

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