The Legacy of Longfields project will gather memories of a much-loved Swansea charity for disabled individuals. The project will explore and celebrate the history of Longfields in Swansea. The organisation was set up in 1952 by parents of children with cerebral palsy who campaigned for their children to have an education. This led to the first school in Wales of this kind being opened in April 1953.
News on our recent Attitudes and Aspirations Event as part of the Being Human Festival of Humanities available on our project blog here.
Digital collage from the Being Human Festival event:
The historians involved in the project will also be assessing the wider significance of Longfields, which played an important role in the social history of Swansea and in the wider disability movement. It developed innovative approaches in providing services for disabled people, against a backdrop of changing social attitudes towards disability.
The project which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, will highlight the efforts of the founders of Longfields Association, and explain its impact on the lives of people who studied and worked there.
Memories of local people who had any connection to Longfields along with individuals who were part of Longfields will be central to the research. Historians will be seeking out individuals who attended the school or the centre, staff, carers and parents so that they can gather, record and share their memories.
Teresa Hillier, who formerly worked at Longfields, and who is now carrying out key research for the Swansea University project, said:
‘This project gives us the chance to tell the story of Longfields and the significant impact it had on the lives of those who attended the Centre. It is also part of the social history of Swansea.’
The memories and materials gathered by the researchers will be translated into an interactive sensory exhibition at Swansea’s Waterfront Museum in May 2018. The information gathered during the project will form a memory and materials online archive.
If you would like more information on the project please email Teresa Hillier, project officer: firstname.lastname@example.org or Kate Spiller, Connected Communities Project Coordinator: email@example.com
Follow the Longfields project twitter account here.
Longfields project in the press:
Publicnow Canada, Noodls-UK and the South Wales Evening Post report historians at Swansea University want people whose lives were changed for the better by Longfields School, which closed in 2011, to come forward and share their memories: