Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Me at Coffine Works_AMHayes_2015-12-12_WEBSML

Merry Christmas! (c) Ann Marie Hayes

This time last year, Jenni Waugh Consulting Ltd was a very new creation – a big step into the future for my career as a consultant.

It’s been a really good year for me, professionally, and for the company. We’ve taken on a number of interesting and challenging jobs, attracted new clients, and embarked upon new contracts that will keep us busy for the next 18 months.

I’d really like to thank you, both clients and supporters, for the work, the advice, the recommendations and the really really brilliant conversations.

Amongst the hard graft, there’s been a number of high points, the apotheosis being a proud trustee at the Heritage Angels award ceremony in London, when Birmingham Conservation Trust won the People’s Choice award for the restoration of the Coffin Works.

DSCN5959

The team from Birmingham Conservation Trust with the award for the Coffin Works restoration.

Working with two community groups from Pershore to win £20,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund so that they could realise their desire to research the WW1 Home Front in the town was another treat.  I can’t tll you how relieved I was to get the award letter – I would have hated to let them down.  We’re now building their work into a much larger public engagement programme with the University of Worcester and uncovering some wonderful stuff.

Evaluating projects around the region is always a joy – the content of the activity, the nature of the material heritage being celebrated and the diversity of the groups, ensure that no two are the same.  Work on the Mingana manuscripts project for the University of Birmingham has been slightly disrupted this year by the ‘once in ten archivists’ lifetimes’ discovery of Qu’ranic manuscripts dating back to the lifetime of the prophet.  It’s meant a new and exhilarating turn in the project activity and I look forward to seeing what happens next.

On the other hand, I have been working intensively on different projects with groups of dementia care home residents and with young people with learning disabilities.  The impact of participation and engagement in heritage and arts activity is making a difference to their quality of life and I am filled with admiration at the talent, determination and effort of all involved.

Everyday, it’s a privilege to work with and for such creative, innovative and committed people, and I love every minute.  Even the data entry!

Please continue to be excellent, over this Christmas time and into the New Year.  I look forward to more in 2016!

REVIEW OF THE YEAR

ONGOING INTO 2016

  • Museums Worcestershire: evaluation of the 3-year, HLF-funded Skills for the Future Traineeship programme, Growing Worcestershire’s Treasures
  • Culture Coventry: evaluation of the wellbeing and learning outcomes of the Esmee Fairbairn -funded Creative Bridges programme of creative and employability skills training for young people with learning disabilities
  • University of Birmingham: evaluation of the wellbeing and learning outcomes of the Mingana MSS community engagement project
  • Museums Worcs and Wychavon District Council: evaluation of wellbeing outcomes of arts & reminiscence activity in residential dementia care homes
  • University of Worcester: Sessional Lecturer for the Institute of Humanities & Creative Arts
  • H&W Earth Heritage Trust: ongoing archive research activity, volunteer training and support in research skills (online and in archives/libraries) for the Building Stones project
  • University of Worcester, Pershore WI and Pershore Heritage & History Society: fundraiser and project manager of WW1 in the Vale, a community heritage project investigating food production in Pershore during World War One (so far, £20,000 raised from HLF and £15,000 from AHRC)

COMPLETED IN 2015

  • Evaluation of the HLF-funded Medieval Abberley Revealed community archaeology project (2014-2015).
  • Training delivery in community archive management, historical research skills, community heritage project management, blog development and social media marketing
  • Evaluation programme for Birmingham Conservation Trust’s HLF-funded redevelopment of the Coffin Works; and support for delivery of community activity programme (2014)
  • Review of Museum Development activity in the West Midlands, for The Marches Curators, (2012-2015)
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