100 years and still serving: a centenary heritage project

Members of Sight Support Derbyshire creating a tactile banner

Heritage Grants

DERBY, East Midlands
Derbyshire Association of the Blind Ltd
"When we talk about art, we automatically think of something visual. The banner is impressive to look at, but its beauty lies in the way it can be explored and appreciated using other senses."
Claire Winfield, Chief Executive, Sight Support Derbyshire
A group of blind and visually impaired Derbyshire residents explored the history of the First World War and created a piece of tactile artwork.

This project commemorated the joint centenary in 1914 of the start of the First World War and the formation of Sight Support Derbyshire (SSD).

A group of 50 SSD members took part. The group received research training and visited Derby Museum, where they received special access to handle objects. The group also discovered Archives Aloud, the Derbyshire Record Office oral history archive.

The group worked with community artists to create a piece of tactile artwork. The banner featured pockets, each containing an artefact to examine by hand. 

The project concluded with the unveiling of the tapestry to the public and local media. The team shared their experiences and poems were read using braille. The display has since been used by National Lottery-supported project Derbyshire Lives through the First World War.

The team also made a best practice guide for running community heritage projects with blind and visually impaired people, which can be found on the SSD website.