National Lottery Grant Awarded for New Project: “Routed”
7th July 2020
We are excited to announce that BMHT has been awarded a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for a new project: “Routed”.
Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project focuses on capturing and celebrating the stories of people in Barnsley who feel, for various reasons, that the traditional museum environment is not for them. It also aims to create an unconventional, highly visual, engaging, and interactive heritage trail, which will be a physical link between the town and museums.
To execute this project, Barnsley Museums have partnered with artists Fabric Lenny (aka Paul Slater) and Katrina Whale.
Lenny and Whale said, “We are so pleased to be working in close partnership with BMHT and Barnsley Museums team on the Routed project. It has been a long time since we had the first sparks of an idea for a town trail and now here we are, ready to go! We know our endpoint is an exhibition at Experience Barnsley and a physical trail around the town centre, both due to be launched in October 2021, but some of the how we get there and all of the what will we find out along the way are excitingly unknown”.
Not to be beaten by the lockdown, Lenny and Whale had a rethink and a re-jig around the best way to get Routed moving forward. They have returned to a group of familiar faces that they met briefly last year, during a series of lantern making workshops for Bright Nights, and are getting things underway with the Feels Like Home Group.
The members of this group are asylum seekers and refugees. During ‘normal’ times they have a weekly meet-up at the Town Hall to socialise, develop language skills and to experience the town’s culture and heritage. Currently, the group are meeting online, and via a WhatsApp chat group. These lines of communication have also made it possible for Lenny and Whale to keep in contact with the group.
Initially, Lenny and Whale shared some questions to gather some of their first impressions of Barnsley. The discussions that these questions prompted have shone a spotlight on the importance of the individual contacts that group members have made. In particularly the immense value of the warmth of the person who first showed the hand of friendship and went the extra mile to make them feel welcome. These connections have been invaluable in terms of giving people a sense of belonging.
The members of the Feels Like Home Group have several popular destinations that they use in Barnsley. The Library at the Light Box is popular with group members and there are a whole host of reasons that they go there including to study, to meet people, to get information and to play table tennis. Other favourite locations include Locke Park, the gym and Oakwell. Again, the people who work in and make use of these places are a key part of the attraction.
The Routed project will continue to work with the Feels Like Home Group to discover more about their experiences and perceptions and to continue to gather their stories. They have also identified a photographer to capture a unique visual take on the town.
Find about more about the project here: https://www.routedinbarnsley.co.uk/about