Hidden Stories was a heritage project that gathered, shared and celebrated the story of migration in Cumbria – the coming and going of people, past and present, that shapes Cumbria’s identity.
A team of volunteers from the community were trained to listen to and record the stories of those who were born outside the UK but have made their home in Cumbria. These recordings have been indexed and now provide a rich resource in the Cumbria Archive for those researching stories of contemporary migration to the county. You can sign up to access the clips via the Hidden Stories website.
The journeys of so many individuals also inspired a travelling exhibition that’s visited libraries, exhibition spaces and schools across Cumbria. As well as opportunities to listen to short clips of the recordings and read about migration to Cumbria, there is an interactive Everyday Lives installation which examines items that those who have moved to the county from other countries have in their daily lives now. Teachers have also learnt from the stories through the Hidden Stories CPD training course and to use the corresponding carefully developed activities with their children, building on themes of humanity, resilience, adventure and openness.
The project was run in partnership with Awaz Cumbria, South Lakeland District Council, South Lakeland Equality and Diversity Partnership, with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Creative Futures funded the Everyday Lives installation.