Place, Work, Folk is a 13 month Heritage Lottery Funded project developed by Planning Aid Scotland. The project has examined how the experience of older people who have been active in their communities can be shared with the next generation. The aim has been for young people to cultivate interest and inspiration to become ‘active citizens’ working for a sustainable community and engaging with the cultural heritage of their region.
In the four target areas – West Lothian, Fife, Renfrewshire and Glasgow – PAS has provided a series of workshops, in schools that have explored some of the forces that have helped shape places and communities. With reference throughout to Patrick Geddes’ (the founder of modern day town planning) and his interest of placemaking for people’s needs, pupils have been introduced to the idea that they too can contribute to the decisions that help determine how their area is developed.
School sessions have taken place in a diverse range of classes. In West Lothian a geography class explored specific examples of restoration projects by the Bathgate Historic Conservation Society in addition to broader issues of heritage in West Lothian. In Fife an English Class, contributing their work to the new cross-curriculum Scottish Studies certificate, focused on the ramifications on place of the past mining heritage and the subsequent decline of mining. In Renfrewshire, a personal development class looked at the decline of the motor industry and its effect on place in relation to Linwood but also recent community efforts to improve the Linwood area. In Glasgow, sessions are underway with a citizens development group who considering the legacy effect of national and international events, particularly in the East End where the 2014 Commonwealth Games were held.
The PAS workshops, as well as exploring local heritage issues, have equipped pupils with knowledge on how they can engage with shaping their place and community: the essence of active citizenship. Skills have been developed which have enabled them to successfully prepare for, carry out, record and share the oral history stories of the older generation which are available to view on Youtube and Soundcloud in interview format.
View digital findings from the Place Work Folk project on YouTube and SoundCloud.
For more information about the project and to view an exhibtion of the young people’s stories contact the PAS Place, Work, Folk Co-ordinator, Russell Moran: Russell@PAS.ORG.UK