Heritage & Reminiscence
Heritage & Reminiscence
What I do
I have been working in the heritage sector since 2005, starting out with award winning London based reminiscence charity Age change as a freelance reminiscence facilitator and moving on to the V&A Museum of Childhood as a contemporary curator.
Following a long period working on £1 million NHLF project with Royal Voluntary Service, I moved on to set up a community interest company Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage, an organisation which creatively explore heritage through life stories, cultural project themes and local memories with diverse audiences.
Based in Brighton, Strike a Light works flexibly across the UK to deliver training, consultancy, and projects – both funded and commissioned.
What I offer
I use my experience in this sector to work with a wide range of groups and individuals in activities. It is unique in utilising reminiscence, creativity and archive material to blend culture and history.
I also freelance on multiple projects in addition to this role and am happy to discuss new project idea and activities in both freelance, consultancy, and salaried capacities.
I am currently delivering on a variety of schemes including offering training on a heritage project with Theatre Royal, Brighton and separately with Brighton Dome / Brighton Festival for the ‘I Was There’ project, as well as taking part in the national Heritage Compass scheme.
In this role, I offer strategic thinking and support for the cultural and heritage sector. Much of this work is funded through programmes funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) or other national funders, and as a result I can offer a clear overview of this process from start to finish. I am confident and experienced with NLHF activity plans, objects and reporting and happy to advise organisations and clients seeking guidance with these processes.
If you have a project idea you would like support with, or would like to discuss developing a programme of activities, please contact me here.
As Heritage Manager for the NLHF funded Polka40 project for Polka Theatre, London, I delivered volunteer and staff training in oral history and archival development (in a digital format due to Lockdown), recorded 20 oral histories, created a 100 page book about the history of this children’s theatre, developed an exhibition and also a series of interactive postcards over an 18 month period.
Through the NLHF funded The Crucible project I came on board as a project manager in a troubleshooting capacity. I developed the latter half of the scheme by training a group of volunteers to research and record a series of oral histories with clinicians, staff and patients at Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals, collected original resource material. I delivered the final project in the projected time and on only half the remaining budget. This project is now available online and to be installed in the foyer of the new build hospital, Brighton.
As project manager on the Trench Brothers WWI project, I was responsible for researching the data and content for an exhibition and book for London clients HMDT Music. I worked with 17 volunteers over six months to uncover and collate the information through research in local archives to understand more about the experiences of black and minority ethnic soldiers serving in the UK during the First World War, and responses of Sussex communities to the Indian Military Hospitals in Brighton and the British West Indian Regiment in Seaford, East Sussex.
I devised, developed and delivered this Shalom Sussex project from scratch with funding support from NLHF as a WWI centenary project exploring the experiences of the Jewish community in Sussex during the First World War. This entailed training, volunteer engagement, a heritage conference, outings, a new website, bespoke research, partnership with Jewish Care charity, talks and reminiscence sessions over an 18 month period.
“Nicola, you are an excellent communicator and have manage to bolster the almost mute group into genuine conversation. It’s great!
“QueenSpark Books has known of, and worked with, Nicola for nearly 5 years, and throughout that time we have been amazed at her capacity for facilitating and delivering high-quality reminiscence projects; she is committed to development work with people who have not previously been involved in heritage activity, and the evident esteem that the participants hold her in is eloquent testimony to the quality of her work.”