Our Past - Our Present

Young volunteer interviewing participant on the subject of their experience of British life
A young volunteer interviews a participant in the project.

Heritage Grants

LUTON, East of England
One Stop Advice & Training Centre
Young people gained new skills while preserving and raising awareness of Pakistani/Kashmiri heritage in Luton.

Twenty-six young volunteers (aged 11-25), some from Asian backgrounds and/or NEETs (not in education, employment or training) took part in the project.

They were trained to capture oral histories, interviewing 13 individuals who were Pakistani/Kashmiri immigrants about their experience of British life. These recollections were then presented by the volunteers as a booklet and film. With support from staff, the volunteers directed the project themselves, gaining many new skills in the process.

[quote=Azra Jan, Founder and Director of One Stop Advice and Training Centre]“Volunteers on the project started off as very timid individuals; eventually each person established a position within the group and developed the confidence to voice their opinions.”[/quote]

The project concluded with two celebration events to share the film and booklet with Luton residents, which were also organised by the volunteers. The first was attended by interviewees, local councillors, MPs and representatives of colleges and community groups.  A second event was held in a predominantly Asian area of Luton, attracting 260 people, the majority of whom were invited directly by the young volunteers.

Many of the volunteers have since shown an interest in pursuing a career path within the media industry as a because of the sense of enjoyment and achievement they gained from the project.