In 2018 the team at Knowle West Media Centre worked with a long-established volunteer-led walking group at Wellspring Healthy Living Centre in Barton Hill to co-design a photography project, inspired by one of our previous projects in Knowle West.
The course was designed to not only increase people’s digital skills and confidence using technology, but to value their local knowledge and provide space for peer learning.
The project team ran five sessions; each week had a different theme, decided by the group, and a walk route across the area that was tailored to fit the theme. KWMC provided DLSR digital cameras to use during the sessions and gave one-to-one support to help the group use them. We also encouraged people to bring cameras if they had them to improve their confidence using them.
The most popular theme was ‘Local History’, which we ran over two sessions because we couldn’t fit everything into one! A local history group provided a number of archive images and we also used the online tool Know Your Place to compare older maps and other resources with what we can see today.
Whilst on the walks, we used the archived images to directly compare how different places looked then and now. This encouraged the group to share their memories of Barton Hill and local historical knowledge about the area.
The project allowed us to cover so much more than photography: it connected new people to both KWMC and Wellspring, created a space for people to share knowledge about their community and other activities that are on offer there, and provided a supportive space for people to learn more about technology and address other personal challenges.