Skills for life

Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000

Description

Appealing to many who are interested in local history and the natural world, burial grounds (of any religon and none) encapsulate the history of communities whilst offering refuge for our native wildlife and are for many people, a place to sit and to be. Vote for us and help us gain new digital skills which can be used to inspire other volunteers up and down the country and in your community to look after these precious spaces .

We are a group of volunteers based in Shropshire who go out and about every week, managing burial grounds in a wildlife friendly way. Since we began 11 years ago we have undertaken 30,000 hrs of conservation work in local sites! For many people, burial grounds are the only locally accessible green space so our work helps keep these places special for everyone.

When new volunteers join us they receive training in the varied skills they will need. This ranges from dry stone walling and tree care to flower identification and scything. There is another skill that we would like to receive training in to help our work - film making.

We would like to make short films to help other volunteers, across the country, learn skills to look after their local burial ground. We can only work in around 40 sites a year but in our area alone there are nearly 1000 and over 20,000 nationally ranging from small rural medieval churchyards to large Victorian city cemeteries, spanning different cultures, religions and centuries!

The films would be made freely available via our website and social media. They can also be streamed into group meetings and presentations. Topics we know would help volunteers doing similar work include:
• How to plan a volunteer work party
• Top health and safety tips
• How to manage a burial ground
• Flower identification
• Caring and recording memorials
• Scything techniques
• Tree care

Local cub groups and youth groups are also interested in getting involved as the information can help them undertake activities towards heritage badges and awards.

Voting for this project will not only give us, more mature volunteers (!), new skills in film production and digital media but volunteers nationwide will also be able to gain confidence and new skills to manage their burial grounds in a way that makes a positive change to their local area by viewing and learning from the films we produce.

Communities will be able to easily access and share these informative films to help make their local burial ground an educational resource, a place to interact with nature as well as a place for reflection. The films can be used by local communities to understand better what amazing places burial grounds can be by helping individuals and community groups to identify the fantastic range of wildlife, plants and flowers to which these spaces offer refuge. Our films will bring these spaces to life, encouraging communities to visit burial grounds, care for them, and appreciate the window into our natural and built heritage they can be for now and for generations to come.

We will purchase one camera, 2 tablets, tripod and other filming accessories, sound equipment and editing software to enable the ongoing in-house production of films. We will work with a company specialising in training community groups to upskill existing and new volunteers providing at least 2 training sessions in one year to ensure that a varied programme of films will always be available via social media, YouTube and websites.

We will produce 6 films within 12 months, and with the purchase of our own equipment we can continue to produce films as we develop new and exciting projects for years to come.

As volunteers, we are supported by Caring for God’s Acre - a very small but national non-religious charity, working to support groups and individuals to investigate, care for, and enjoy these unique sites to the benefit of conservation, (over and above their primary purpose).


Project Video

CfGA

Moment of Pride

CfGA is the only charity dedicated to supporting those who care for burial grounds. By giving new digital skills to our volunteers, we will be able to help 100s more volunteers nationally learn new practical skills to enhance burial grounds for conservation and connect them to local communities.

Location: Craven Arms