Solihull charity's history project on 'hidden lives' of those with special needs granted £60k - The Solihull Observer

Solihull charity's history project on 'hidden lives' of those with special needs granted £60k

Solihull Editorial 8th May, 2018   0

A SOLIHULL special needs charity has received a £60,000 grant for a history project about remembering the ‘hidden lives’ of those who suffered severe learning disabilities.

Solihull Action through Advocacy (SAtA) received £60,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) which will enable it to undertake work on discovering and recording the stories of people with life limiting special needs in Solihull.

The project, called “Hidden Lives Remembered”, is expected to be completed in just over 18 months.

The charity says it will allow people with learning disabilities to find out about the lives and experiences of those who, until 30 years ago, had lived most of their lives in long-stay hospitals and residential homes with little contact with the wider community.




The project will look at the journey those people took from institutionalisation into community living.

The charity will produce a digital archive of oral history recordings, videos and images which will be freely available to the public.


There are also plans to produce an exhibition and some original drama which will be written and performed by SAtA’s ‘AdvoActs’ drama group.

It says the project will provide an opportunity for people with learning disabilities to discover more about their own heritage and how the lives and experiences of others have shaped their own lives today.

There will also be opportunities for the public to engage with the project as well as to volunteer.

SAtA is an independent charity which for over 25 years has provided advocacy mainly for people with learning disabilities and/or autism.

James Voller, chief executive of SAtA, said: “We are thrilled to be able to record these important stories about members of our communities whose history, much like them, have been hidden and excluded for so long.

“We are very grateful to National Lottery players and the Heritage Lottery Fund for their kind support and we are looking forward to an exciting, interesting and valuable project”.

Vanessa Harbar, head of heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands, said: “We’re delighted that, thanks to National Lottery players, we can support Solihull Action through Advocacy to explore and record these important personal stories, which have previously been hidden, acknowledging the impact this heritage has on people’s lives and promoting better understanding in the wider community”.

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