THE Sid Valley Memory Café has become one of the first groups in the UK to receive a grant that will see its members’ recollections turned into a record of local history.

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Its initiative, Moments in Time, has been given £8,100 of Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) All Our Stories funding to create an oral depiction project encouraging users to capture their experiences of living and working in the area.

The memory café, a popular meeting place for people with memory problems and their carers, will give members the opportunity to arrange a programme of visits and events to encourage reminiscence and trigger memories.

This will enable a record of local history to be produced for the benefit of members, their carers and the community at large.

Project co-ordinator Angela Thompson said: “It’s great that we have been awarded this grant and we can’t wait to get started.

“Our members have wonderful memories of life in this area. With the right stimulus, not only will we be able to produce a valuable record of local history, but give our members an opportunity to share their stories with the wider community.”

All Our Stories, a new small grant programme, was launched earlier this year in support of BBC Two’s The Great British Story.

It has been designed as an opportunity for everyone to get involved in their heritage.

With HLF funding and support, community groups will carry out activities that help people explore, share and celebrate their local heritage.

The popular series presented by historian Michael Wood and supported by a programme of BBC Learning activities and events got thousands of people asking questions about their history and inspired them to look at it through the eyes of the ordinary public.

Mr Wood said: “It is really tremendous that the people of East Devon have been inspired to get involved to tell their own story and to dig deeper into their own pasts.

“I’m certain that fascinating and moving stories will be uncovered which will not only bring to life the excitement of local history, but will illuminate and enrich every community’s connection with the national narrative.”

Richard Bellamy, acting head of the HLF South West, said the grant would allow the Sid Valley Memory Café to ‘embark on a real journey of self discovery’.

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