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DigiCULT
records and photographs with them, which were
photographed using the digital camera and would
then be uploaded on Moving Here with their story.
To show as many people as possible their stories once
online it was suggested that the Moving Here team
attend the regular bingo session and make an an-
nouncement there about the involvement of people
in Moving Here.The team was able to attract a lot of
interest in the Website by showing people the site on
laptops and hard copies of photographs. `I've been
emailing my family in the States about the site so
they can look at my story.They were very impressed.'
There was also pride in the fact that the Luton Irish
Community were finally able to tell their experiences
as part of the whole of Luton's history after `keeping
their heads down for so long', as Mr Horan put it.
Mr Horan described himself very much as the
man on the street and his views and comments on
Moving Here were very helpful. As the voice of
potential users, he was a very crucial part of the
feedback. He also came to a user testing session for
the site at TNA. During the launch of the project he
was very happy to talk about it to the press and his
enthusiasm was invaluable. He also took part in a
documentary about Silver Surfers after Moving Here
was approached by a production company. During
the documentary he mentions Moving Here as part
of the reason he uses the Internet so much. A tem-
porary community radio station ran in Luton during
September and October 2003 and Alison Taylor,
Curator for Luton Museum, went on air with a
couple of people from the Irish Forum to promote
Moving Here. Moving Here `adverts' were also
broadcast on the station.
When people from the community groups who
have experience of migration and its effects are
willing to advocate a project, this is invaluable.This
sort of free publicity is worth its weight in gold and
should not be underestimated. As seen from the
above projects, community activity is a way into the
heart of a community. Some people who have come
into contact with the Moving Here project have
gone on to become great friends of the project and
promote it to their own friends and family as well
as being prepared to speak on its behalf.
A P
EAK IN
C
OMMUNITY
W
ORK
A
HEAD
F
rom October 2003 to March 2004 the project
is even more heavily involved in community
activity. At this stage the major part of the content
has been mounted on the site and now is the time
to utilise it and engage with those who can resonate
most with the content.Thirteen mid-scale projects
are being undertaken across the country.The staff for
this area of work has increased from one community
co-ordinator at the beginning of the project to three
full-time equivalent posts, one of which is based in
Leeds.
The difference between this period of community
work and the earlier phase is that a specific budget
has been allocated in order to ensure that the com-
munity groups with which Moving Here works will
produce a physical outcome that they can keep after
the project.This may be an exhibition, a booklet or
a set of postcards.This is a big incentive and also
means that the momentum of Moving Here can
hopefully continue beyond the life-span of a central
team. It will be the community groups themselves
who can continue to spread the word by re-using
the physical resources they created with Moving
Here.This phase is also looking at communities
other than the original four.
The six-month time span is very tight for deliv-
ering such projects. From experience, the project
knows that it takes a long time to develop a bond
of trust with participants to the extent that they are
willing to tell their stories. For example, a member
of a group of Bengali men recently told one of the
Community Co-ordinators that he had not brought
in his own documents to show the group because he
thought she was from the government and wanted
to check his papers. In addition, significant time
can be required on a practical level you need to
approach the appropriate manager of a community
centre and demonstrate the site to persuade them
to work with you.
As far as possible, Moving Here has tried to work
with existing partners and their own connections
within the communities.This saves time because a
link has already been established.Where this has not
been possible, then the community groups who do
become involved are those who are already set up
with staff, equipment and enthusiasm to take on a
community project. In both cases timing is crucial.
There are many demands on these groups and they
have many priorities.When Moving Here has been
able to fit in with an organisation's current focus, this
is where it has been most successful and for every
community group that has agreed to work with the
project there will be another two who were inter-
ested but could not commit at this precise time.
For example, so far the work that will be under-
taken until the end of the NOF-funded period looks
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