Norfolk project aims to help elderly people at risk of isolation

An old photo of troops on the marketplace in Norwich.

An old photo of troops on the marketplace in Norwich. - Credit: Archant

They may seem like snapshots of a time incomparable to today's world.

But a project coming to Norfolk aims to help elderly people at risk of isolation and 'reconnect them with the local community', by using pictures from a bygone era.

The county is one of three areas in England which have been chosen for a £545,000 heritage project which hopes to give the older generation a chance to meet, share, and record precious memories.

Breandán Knowlton, executive director of project organisers Historypin, said: 'Every house, every park, every church and public street echoes with the memories of our families and our friends, and we want to bring some of these meaningful places to life.'

Historypin is an online website to which people can share historical pictures.

The project will work with agencies such as libraries, museum services, and voluntary organisations. By combining photographs, documents, sounds, and films to trigger memories, local volunteers will run the project.

They will digitise photos, collect stories, and record oral histories to share online and reproduce in booklets. It is hoped this will create more social activities and local networks to help reduce isolation in older people.

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Mr Knowlton added: 'Working through the indispensable networks of library and museum services is such a rich way to connect with the citizens who know the most about local history – and are willing to share their knowledge with the next generation.'

Funding for the project is part of a wider £1.6m cash grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

Dawn Austwick, chief executive of the Big Lottery Fund said: 'The Big Lottery Fund is delighted to support Historypin's imaginative use of technology to help older people share their history with others and build social networks.'

The grant for the project is among the first of its kind which is focussed on programmes supporting the challenges presented by an ageing population.

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