I have been working as Project Director for Cotesbach Educational Trust for just over two years now, in addition to running Beauty and Utility Arts, and just over a week ago, we won an award!
Cotesbach Educatinal Trust is small charitable organisation in South Leicestershire, which comprises a Grade II listed Victorian schoolhouse and three adjacent buildings, set within the grounds of Cotesbach Estate. Our mission is to provide educational opportunities relating to environment, heritage and arts, using the land, local history and extensive family archive as the focus to ‘reconnect with place and land to develop skills for the future’. We live in a fast changing society; we endeavour to enable people to better understand their roots and discover from the past and the surroundings how to forge a more sustainable future.
On the evening of Thursday 21st July, Cotesbach Educational Trust had the privilege of attending the Leicestershire and Rutland Heritage Forum & Leicestershire County Council Heritage Awards at the University of Leicester’s Museum Studies Department.
The whole evening was a celebration of the wide ranging heritage work taking place across our local communities and all those who dedicate their time, hearts and energies in each of the 40 + organisations represented within the forum.
Despite stiff competition, Cotesbach Educational Trust was thrilled to win an award in the ‘Bringing Heritage Alive’ category. Our winning project was ‘Re-Writing the Archives’, an Arts Council England and Leicestershire County Council funded project, working with local Director Chris Hill, which ran throughout 2015.
Over a chilly weekend in January five professional UK writers delved in to our unique archive and each produced a short audio drama based on their discoveries. Plays were recorded by a professional acting ensemble and aired at vintage tea parties and on a specially designed microsite, still accessible via the website www.cotesbachschoolhouse.org.uk
We have over 6000 documents preserved within our archive and every one of them has a story to tell, so winning an award for making our work available to a whole new audience was just fantastic!