Volunteers urgently needed for spring bank holiday heritage project

Making-ceramic-oastcakes-at-Spode---edited-and-compressed-for-website

Volunteers are urgently needed to help disabled young people, in and around Stoke-on-Trent, to deliver a heritage programme about one of Staffordshire’s most famous culinary delights.

Caudwell Children, the Staffordshire charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families, has received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, to create a Young Roots Project about the humble Staffordshire oatcake!

The programme will take place during the spring bank holiday week and will run from Tuesday 26th May – Saturday 30th May 2015, with sessions running from 10:00am – 3:00pm.
The venue for the programme will be the Mitchell Arts Centre, Hanley, ST1 4HG.

The ‘Staffordshire Oatcake Obsessions’ Expressive Arts Programme will bring together local volunteers and disabled young people, to create a touring exhibition explaining the history of the delicacy, and its importance to the local community.
Many disabled children have little opportunity to attend leisure activities out of school, and are often socially isolated.
Many have poor school attendance records and their educational attainment is low. As a result they have low self-esteem and few aspirations.

Volunteers will help participants to learn new skills such as: digital photography and voice recording techniques, animation, pottery, and art and craft sessions. They will also help to design and paint a stage set and oversee oatcake tasting sessions.
At the end of the programme, which will also include learning through workshops, trips and site visits, volunteers will have helped participants to create a touring exhibition that will enable local people to learn about their local heritage.

Diane Greaves, Short Breaks Activity Coordinator with Caudwell Children, said:

“This is a fantastic programme that will not only inform and entertain the public, but will also instil knowledge, confidence and a positive attitude in the disabled children who take part in it. But in order to make it happen we need a team of enthusiastic volunteers.”

Although Diane says that it would be great to hear from people with experience in exhibitions, film and photography she is keen to stress that the charity wouldn’t preclude anyone who didn’t have these skills. As she explained:

“We want to hear from individuals, of any age, who are happy to support a team of disabled young people in the completion of the project. Their attendance will also help to reduce the young group’s isolation and develop their communication networks.
“It goes without saying that they will need empathy and a commitment to helping those in the group to reach their potential.”

Potential volunteers should, in the first instance, contact Diane Greaves on 01782 600431 or email diane.greaves@caudwellchildren.com