The Planned Environment Therapy Trust has won a prestigious national award.

The Community Archives and Heritage Group (CAHG)  has named PETT 'The Most Impactful Community Archive 2011' for its Heritage Lottery Fund-supported project, "Therapeutic Living With Other People's Children: An oral history of residential therapeutic child care c. 1930 - c. 1980".  Members of the PETT project team along with students from Trinity Catholic School in Leamington Spa attended the Sixth CAHG Annual Conference at University College London on 27th June to collect the award.

The awards are a new initiative of the Community Archives and Heritage Group. Overall, CAHG received 63 nominations in six categories. The judges praised the high quality of the submissions.

 
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A Community Archives and Heritage Group spokesperson explained: "The Planned Environment Therapy Trust undertook an oral history of residential therapeutic child care from 1930 to 1980, recognising that for many children and young people the loss, invisibility and inaccessibility of records about them translates into a corresponding lack of personal foundation and certainty. The judges praised this ‘very real project’ for the significant outcomes it had achieved."

Three students from Trinity Catholic School and drama teacher Verity Naughton  addressed the conference, giving a dynamic presentation about their experience ofcahg1 the project and of their performance 'MAL-ER-JUH'S-TED'. Student Flora Garner spoke about the journey and reflected on the evolution of the process; Matthew Pettle read extracts from his book Through the Eyes of a Child;  and Mark Levien showed one of the multi media films he had devised and created as part of the performance, mentioning the contribution of fellow student Sam Knights in particular, who was not able to attend the presentation.

The three Trinity students spoke of being inspired by the people, the project and the potential for future work. They are now working towards the creation of their own Archive project about Trinity School. Historian Dr Nick Barrett was the conference keynote speaker. He spoke about the importance of family and community history, drawing on his work on the BBC programme "Who Do You Think You Are?".  He and the Trinity students got together during a break to discuss how they might develop the Trinity project. Conference delegates went on to congratulate the students on their professionalism and for the high standard of their presentation. Matt sold several copies of his book on the day (even signing a few on the way!)

CAHG is a Special Interest Group of the Archives and Records Association (which is the lead professional body for archivists, archive conservators and records managers in the United Kingdom and Ireland). It is a national group which aims to support and promote community archives in the UK and Ireland.

Trust Director Richard Rollinson noted "We're over the moon to have been awarded its ‘Most Impactful’ Community Archive Award - the first of its kind!”

He went on to say "The celebrations will continue this Sunday during the Trust's Open Day (July 1st). With the aid of some friends we are going to talk about the kind of work the Planned Environment Therapy Trust does, and ask what more we can do and how we can be doing better. We will also have some excellent cakes!" Several former children involved in the 'Other People's Children' will be attending, as we continue to build on all the work, dedication, and enthusiasm which has made all this work possible.

More images are available on our Facebook page here


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THE COMMUNITY ARCHIVES AND HERITAGE GROUP (www.communityarchives.org.uk)

The Community Archives and Heritage Group (CAHG) celebrates the contribution of community archives and shares good practice. The Group is supported by the Archives and Records Association (UK & Ireland), the lead professional body for archivists and record manager.

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There were 63 submissions to the Community Archive and Heritage Group awards for 2011. The judges praised the high quality of the submissions.

There were six category winners, with Marden History Group being awarded the accolade of overall ‘Community Archive of the Year’:

Winner of ‘Most Interesting’ Community Archive and overall winner of Community Archive of the Year –Marden History Group (www.mardenhistory.org.uk)

The Marden History Group, run entirely by volunteers, worked with Kent County Council Libraries and Archives to open the Marden Heritage Centre in 2008 within the village’s public library building. The Group designed and equipped the space, which now opens for four half days each week, staffed by volunteers. A family software company – On-click – based in Marden, provided the website which has facilitated cataloguing of and access to the village’s historical records.

Winner of the ‘Most Innovative’ Community Archive – Oughterard Culture and Heritage Centre (www.oughterardheritage.org)

The Oughterard Heritage website merges images from the past and the present to illustrate the changes in the local urban landscape of this small town in County Galway. The judges considered the technique ‘inspirational’ and ‘welcoming’.

Winner of the ‘Most Inspirational’ Community Archive – Plymouth Pride Forum (www.lgbt-history.prideinplymouth.org.uk)

The ‘Pride in our Past’ project uncovered and celebrated the little-discussed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history of the City of Plymouth. The project team undertook oral history interviews and collected memorabilia and artefacts to help tell the story. The judges praised the way the project had ‘gathered the voices of and given a voice to often-ignored communities’.

Winner of the ‘Most Impactful’ Community Archive – Planned Environment Therapy Trust Archive and Study Centre (www.otherpeopleschildren.org.uk)

The Planned Environment Therapy Trust undertook an oral history of residential therapeutic child care from 1930 to 1980, recognising that for many children and young people the loss, invisibility and inaccessibility of records about them translatesinto a corresponding lack of personal foundation and certainty. The judges praised this ‘very real project’ for the significant outcomes it had achieved.

Winner of the ‘Best Online’ Community Archive – Oxhey Library (www.ouroxhey.org.uk)

The Oxhey website is organised by volunteers and aims to provide a sustainable forum for people to share and enjoy memories and photographs of Oxhey. With no museum and little written history, the website has provided a forum to share and celebrate and to preserve local history for future generations. The judges considered the website ‘shouted enthusiasm’ and urged all with an interest in presenting local history to ‘take a look’.

Winner of the ‘Best New Archive’ – Chorley Heritage Centre  (www.chorleyheritagecentre.co.uk)

With the ultimate aim of opening a heritage centre in the heart of Chorley, the Chorley Heritage Centre Support Group are running a ’virtual heritage centre’ to involve the community in ‘cheating the skip’ of local artefacts and ephemera, whilst publicising collections on the website. The judges said: ‘Volunteers had gone far and wide to talk to those who had stories to tell and those who could advise and give good advice. Progress had been excellent.’