Grampus Heritage & Trainingpizap.comUNITED KINGDOM

 

Grampus Heritage & Training

The partnership is led by Grampus Heritage & Training from the north west of England in the United Kingdom. From UK, Grampus (GHT) is a not-for-profit SME & works with remoter rural communities, in UK & in 32 European states (since 1997).

Work involves natural/cultural resources & clients include the disadvantaged. Affiliated to the cultural & creative industry sector (c+c) – from ‘art to archaeology’, Grampus has presented to and worked with ‘EUCLID’ (UK Culture NA) and ‘Culture Cumbria’ (regional body) and networks with public and private archaeological groups, art foundations and theatre groups. GHT is also a full member of the French-led ‘EUROMEDINCULTURE’ network. Affiliated also to the forestry (GHT advise the UK Government) and agricultural sectors & with multi-actor partnerships of SME’s, other NGO’s, charities and Government , i.e., (in ‘landscape-scale’ partnership) the Environment Agency, National Trust, National Parks and Local Authorities. GHT works with VET institutions & is active in LdV since 1997 (IVT, VETPRO, PLM) & also ‘Grundtvig’, ‘Youth’, ‘Culture 2007’ & ‘LEADER.

The VET includes contemporising traditional skills & community engagement (‘through John Muir Award’). GHT & partners recognise the assets of rural areas are culture and nature + physical products. Activities are in running workshops, training courses & project development, especially in a participatory (LEADER) way. GHT are experienced project managers, running 9 large projects. We gave evidence to the House of Lords Sub-committee on Lifelong Learning & the EU think tank on future of VETPRO. As project leaders GHT developed ‘EVEHD’ during 2011-12 – the development process involved a visits to Germany, Romania, Slovakia & Iceland. GHT will interface with EACEA. With all partners GHT will roll out the results of successful community engagement in sustainable development of cultural assets, This engagement has been with all levels of local communities over the last 14 years & goes from school age to retired people & has involved them in fulfilling social, cultural, environmental and economic objectives.

The engagement has also involved very careful socio-political elements & GHT has worked in conflict zones, such as Bosnia-Herzegovina & Turkish occupied northern Cyprus & developed heritage projects to link antagonistic (usually) neighbouring ethnic groups since 2001; using common culture as a key (i.e., ‘the Romans’ for example). GHT also work with marginalised groups in Europe included Roma communities & ethnic Hungarians remaining in Slovakia, Slovenia and Romania after 1920. Grampus have 4 core staff further part-time staff. The office manager is very experienced in large EU project management and runs a tight financial management system ensuring all grants are passed to partners promptly but also that payments are linked to milestones & deliverables. A project manager & assistant manager will be in charge of delivering EVEHD and a further 3 staff are regularly involved, especially in delivery of the UK-based action.

 

The Restoration of a holy well is enlisted as Action No.15 Action under the EVEHD Work Programme.

The holy well / sacred water site restoration was a common thread through each of the 6 multilateral, all partner cultural actions. It was also an ongoing process throughout the two years that EVEHD ran. In fact, the purpose was to ‘kick start’ a process that would just keep rolling with local volunteers. I believe we have succeeded in that regard in Germany, UK and Slovakia; in Romania, Iceland and Turkey I am more pessimistic but this needs qualifying a bit.  In Romania the Orthodox Christian church still has enormous power and influence and most if not all holy wells are under the control of monasteries and looked after by monks and nuns – we had some difficulty finding one to work with. In Iceland Gudmundur the Good, the then Bishop of the country, blessed many wells (the ‘Blessed Wells of Iceland’) and we realised that people do not take them too seriously these days (Father John Musther, the English Orthodox priest who led in the wells, would say it’s because they’re Protestants!); we think it would be very difficult to generate a group of volunteers to do this ongoing well maintenance. Again qualification is needed – we looked at 6 holy wells in the process of choosing one to work on – all were on private land and most were cared for by the owner.

Here is a potted description of what we achieved with our volunteers:

We had the advantage of a large and organised team set up by Father John Musther of the Orthodox Christian Diocese for North West England. Despite Orthodoxy being uncommon in the UK, he has a large congregation made up of Russians, Greeks, Cypriots, Bulgarians, Serbians, Romanians and Ukrainians. We met and worked/researched the holy wells with many of them – they also were the main food providers. There are more than 40 holy wells in Cumbria – the Orthodox (pre-Catholic) church was strong there on account of Irish monks, priests and (eventually) saints building churches in the Lake District, etc. We had a team of up to 25 volunteers, so it was necessary to split up. We focused on 2 holy wells, St Marys at Penruddock near Penrith and St. Michaels at Longtown, east of Carlisle. It was very interesting and rewarding (as it was in Turkey) to see Christians and Muslims and non-religious or athiest volunteers working side-by-side. We completely restored the very poor condition well at St Marys and thoroughly cleaned the well at Longtown. We learned the story and history behind the wells and as the Longtown well was close to ‘Arthuret’, we also discussed Arthurian legend in Britain and the ‘last battle’, when Mordred kills Arthur – which happened legend says, in this region. A booklet – the Holy Wells of Cumbria, is an output of EVEHD, which many volunteers worked on.