We are delighted to announce that the MoH has received £9,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to begin to build the first national collection and archive for homelessness in the UK and strengthen its operations. Thanks to National Lottery players, the project will enable us to take the first steps on safeguarding and growing our existing archive and collection as well as developing new ways of sharing the stories of homelessness past and present. The project will start in April 2017 and run for six months from the museum’s office base in London.
The archive includes a range of documents, zines and press clippings that are drawn from a number of organisations including Groundswell and the Simon Community. The collection includes donations from artists and private individuals and objects drawn from the MoH’s current State of the Nation programme – a national programme exploring homelessness in 2017. The MoH will also capture new oral histories during the scope of the grant.The project will enable a community of people to come together to catalogue, pool expertise and share knowledge about the MoH’s collection and archive as well as learn skills. It will equip a team of volunteers who have experienced homelessness with new heritage skills.
The project will also provide practical support to the charity in the form of archival expertise and equipment and materials, and will provide time and resources for the MoH to recruit new trustees and a patron as well as assess its own evaluation process and future plans.
The project comes at an important time; official statistics released in January 2017 showed that homelessness across the UK rose again. There is an urgent need to work with people and organisations around the UK to protect the fragile, disregarded and often hidden work of inspirational people and organisations around the UK, so that we can learn from the past.
Matt Turtle, co-founder, Museum of Homelessness, said:“In the last few years many incredible objects and stories have been offered to the MoH in trust. This National Lottery grant enables us to repay that trust and make a plan to bring these objects and stories into our collection properly. These stories belong to all of us and this grant will also enable us to fulfil our obligations to preserve, interpret and share these stories in order to make hidden voices visible and enabling us to learn lessons from the past.”
Stuart Hobley, Head of HLF London, said: “We’re proud to support the Museum of Homelessness to develop their organisation and grow their important collection. Records of homelessness date back to the 16th Century and beyond and with support from National Lottery players, this project will explore an often hidden part of the UK’s heritage, creating a comprehensive record for the future.”
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