William & Len were invited to present a paper to a newly created Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Oral History Society at a one-day conference held at the Planned Environment Therapy Trust in Toddington, Gloucestershire last week.
The SIG, titled “Psycho-Social Therapies and Care Environments” is a new group organised by Oral History Society trustees, Dr Craig Fees and Verusca Calabria.
Our presentation described our experiences establishing and conducting the Early Pestalozzi Children Project. Older delegates were well aware of the Pestalozzi Children’s Village of the 1960s (and its iconic ladybird) – but there was no clear recollection of how it had operated.
We also had the fortune to listen to several other oral history practitioners who have had a variety of experiences in very different environments. The highlight was a talk by the noted American author, educator and researcher Dr Carolyn Mears (recognised for her research in managing community-based trauma).
We were lucky enough to spend the following morning in conversation with Carolyn about our Pestalozzi community experiences and the situations that led us to live there.
The experience was extremely valuable and has left us delighted with the level of interest shown in our story and our Project.
If you wish to know more about our presentation, the conference – or our Project, generally, contact us here.
We wish to express our appreciation to the Heritage Lottery Fund for providing us with a Sharing Heritage grant which has enabled us to finance our attendance at this conference.