“I have been working in the Jewellery Quarter, particularly in the cemeteries with local school pupils, over the last 18 months and the interpretation boards were designed and erected in Warstone and Key Hill cemeteries are as a result of the work we carried out.
The project was managed by me in partnership with the JQ Regeneration Partnership and Birmingham City Council and I work for Groundwork Birmingham and Solihull – an environmental charity organisation that raises funding to work on local projects with communities, local businesses and schools and is also responsible for many green space land development and play areas in parks and schools.
My project was funded by the Heritage Lottery and was designed to raise awareness of the cemeteries in the Jewellery Quarter and their historical and educational significance to the local area.
The pupils from the schools that I worked with have been involved in various activities related to history, the local environment, art, nature and interpretation, this has been displayed around the Jewellery Quarter throughout the project and at open day events such as the one at Key Hill cemetery in September.
The interpretation boards have attracted more tourists into the cemeteries when visiting the Jewellery Quarter and were instrumental to the in-bloom competition as was the other educational work taking place in the cemeteries.
A leaflet has been designed to further raise awareness of the learning that can take place in the cemeteries and has been left in the Jewellery Quarter and the Pen Museum as well as the Information Kiosk and the Regeneration Partnership office.
I have really enjoyed working in the Jewellery Quarter and have also become fond of the cemeteries that I have spent so much time in. I have met some really interesting and enthusiastic people who really care about the future of the Jewellery Quarter and it is very heartening to find that they do because the Jewellery Quarter has a fascinating history that is unique and should be promoted and celebrated.
Although my funding has come to an end I will continue to stay in contact and bring pupils from the local schools to the Jewellery Quarter. Groundwork Birmingham & Solihull will continue to support the cemeteries by helping to raise funding to upkeep, replace, and maintain the sites.
Alison Farrell – Senior Project Manager, Groundwork Birmingham & Solihull