‘Past:Present:Work’ is a National Lottery Heritage Funded employability project, centred around local heritage. The project offers YMCA Derbyshire residents and learners aged 16-35, a unique opportunity to explore heritage and conservation sites in Derbyshire.
YMCA Derbyshire are working in partnership with Cromford Mills who are delivering the first 10 workshops and delivering group entrepreneurship activities, inspired by Sir Richard Arkwright’s legacy as ‘Father of the Factory System’ and their new hydropower project.
Introductory workshops led by the Cromford Mills Learning Team at the YMCA Derbyshire campus have included constructing waterwheels as part of a STEM challenge, interactive activities, carding and hand spinning, and presentations to raise awareness of the different roles available in the heritage sector.
Last week, project participants visited the Mills and explored the industrial history of Derbyshire led by tour guide Steve Boothroyd. The tour also included the immersive audio-visual film – The Arkwright Experience. Also having the opportunity to see the development of the new waterwheel system.
As part of the workshops delivered by Cromford Mills, participants will be researching, designing, and creating a product to market and sell, gaining key employability skills and learning more about the heritage sector along the way. Whilst at the Mills, participants met Sarah Wheatley at the Weaveknitit shop, who talked through the artists and makers who create a variety of craft-based items which are sold within the shop, with which the participants took inspiration from to begin considering what they wish to create with support from the Cromford Mills team. Participants then painted some of the cardboard sculptures as part of the Cromford Mills Autumn Trail and ‘Shine a Light’ event before having a private tour of St Mary’s Church.
For more information regarding our Past: Present: Work project, please click here.