I’m writing to you about NHS at 70: The Story of Our Lives, a national programme of work supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Our aim is to capture oral histories of and about the NHS from people – employees, patients and others – whose lives have been affected by it across its 70 year history, and preserve them in an online archive where they’ll be publicly accessible and available for use by heritage organisations.
I’m co-ordinating the project in the North East, and at the minute I’m not only searching for likely participants, but recruiting volunteers to undertake the bulk of our interviews. We have previously worked in Manchester and Wales – see our website for some stories we have collected so farhttps://www.nhs70.org.uk/
I wondered if NELHS members and supporters might like to be involved in this? We are open to partnering with local organisations, especially those who would like to conduct more oral history research and lack resources; all materials produced in partnership are considered co-owned, and all the interviews we upload to the public archive (i.e., almost all the ones we undertake, subject to ethics procedures) are licensed for free use.
We provide all our volunteers with three days professional oral history training (from the same providers the British Library use), currently scheduled for January; volunteers can do as few or as many interviews as they like, and will be appropriately supported and safeguarded throughout. The project legacies will hopefully be 20 or 30 more people in the North East trained and experienced in oral history work, and a couple of hundred fully annotated and searchable interviews, plus artefacts and photos, gathered from people in the region, hosted at the expense of the HLF and free for use.
If any members or supporters would like to get involved they can contact me by phone or email – my usual working days are Wednesday to Friday, our current callouts for both interviewers and interviewees are attached.
Dr Peter Mitchell
Oral History and Public Engagement Officer – North East
NHS at 70: The Story of Our Lives
Mobile: +44 7768226650