Voices of the Elders project

Bath Spa University launches Voices of the Elders project with Fairfield House

Wednesday, 28 November, 2018

Bath Spa University is teaming up with Fairfield House to launch the Voices of the Elders project, capturing the stories and voices of the Bath Ethnic Minority Senior Citizens Association (BEMSCA) members who use the facility.

Building on a rich tradition of oral histories, the project, led by the University’s Institute for Education, will spend the next year gathering the memories and stories of BEMSCA members who travelled to Bath to build their lives.

Students from across the University will be involved in the project, conducting and filming the interviews with the BEMSCA members, producing a memory book featuring a cross-section of their voices, and creating a children’s storybook so that the stories the elders themselves were brought up on are passed down to future generations.

“This is an important project for the local community, and one the University is delighted to be involved in,” said Professor Kate Reynolds, Executive Dean of the Institute for Education. “There are some fascinating and unique stories amongst the BEMSCA community, and we want to ensure that these are captured so they can be passed down and remembered in future years.”

The books and video will be officially launched in October 2019, to coincide with Black History Month, and will be gifted by the University to Fairfield House for them to use to fundraise.

Fairfield House - the former residence of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I – was bequeathed to the city in the 1940s to be used by the elderly as a care and support home. Since 1995, it has been home to BEMSCA, who run an extremely active day care centre and luncheon club service for the Caribbean, Asian and Chinese older residents in the city, giving them a space to meet and socialise.

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