By 2011 we had the monies remaining from the sale of our building and in typical ‘Pecket’ fashion we wanted to achieve as much as possible to preserve our legacy. We decided to run:

* an archive project
* our oral history project; and
* design a website that we can understand and use

We had never done any of these things before and some of us hardly used computers before this project never mind ‘surf’ the internet! We have had to learn lots of new skills to put items and documents of various kinds and formats into our storeroom (digital archive):

We have learnt how to scan all of our documents – all different sizes as we have always produced A3 large print versions of reports. Thanks to Lesley who has done most of the scanning!

Thanks to Kirklees Visual Impairment Network (KVIN) who have taught us to convert old cassette tapes into computer files so we can put some audio into this site. They also took Nick our Chairperson on their shopping trip to buy some Apple equipment so they can teach other people with a visual impairment how to use these and other IT products. We continue to learn that working with others and sharing strengths makes Pecket more accessible to more people. We have learned that the same assisstive technologies can benefit both us and people with a visual impairment. We have also learned that lots of people who have difficulties with reading/writing and/or numbers also have a visual impairment and vice versa. Often services are delivered in ways that encourage us to put ourselves in ‘boxes’ and we forget how much we have in common with others. Thanks to David Quarmby, Chairperson of KVIN who gave us lots of advice on how to make our website more accessible to people with visual impairments.

Below are photos of KVIN members with Nick – testing different Apple products:

Below are photos showing Martin and David showing Pol how to use their state of the art stereo digitiser LM60. It converts our old audio tapes into MP3 format computer files quickly rather than having to convert them in real time (up to 90 mins each tape). Soon Martin (on the left) will be teaching Pol how to edit audio files and put them onto this website.

Thanks to Howard, Manager and Geoff a volunteer from Phoenix Radio in Halifax who converted our first batch of audio cassettes into MP3 computer format and some old videos into DVDs.

Thanks also to Simon (wearing glasses in photo below) a volunteer at Phoenix Radio who had just converted these archive film DVDs into MP4 computer files so we can view then and add film clips throughout the site in October or November 2013.

Simon Phoenix Radio

We have run this project in the ‘Pecket way’ – Directors and other members have been involved in every stage of the projects and their developments. We continue to learn new skills and have surprised ourselves at times! Pecket Wellians have learned how to conduct oral history interviews and how to film event and interviews.

Our oral history

We recruited Cilla Ross an oral historian to work with Pecket Wellians to interview as many people as possible by January 2013.  Interviews have been face to face whenever possible.  Some have been by telephone or skype e.g. interviews with previous partner organisations in Canada. Cilla conducted initial interviews and trained some Pecket Wellians in interview skills.  They were then able to carry our ‘peer interviews’ and continue to learn and enjoy new skills.   It has taken many hours/days of detective work to trace past participants, funders and people from partner organisations. Thanks to Dr Carol Azumah Dennis from University of Hull who volunteered to proof read our draft oral history and made many useful comments.

From now until the end of this project March 2014 we will continue to add as much as we can to our archives – including more free resources!

Our Website

We recruited Andrassy Media to work with us to design our website. Pecket Wellians have been involved in the design and development of this site. We wanted it to be attractive and as easy to use as possible for people like ourselves, educationalists, policy makers and academics. People from each of these groups offered to test our draft site for ease of use in February 2013. This feedback helped us to complete the site design.

Below is a photograph of Stephen, Ibrar and Chris –  members of TheHive in Halifax who tested out our draft site and gave us instant feedback:

TheHive members testing our draft website

 

We have experienced a roller coaster of emotions, thoughts and feelings:
* realisation of unfulfilled dreams
* recognition of forgotten achievements and successes
* sadness at the loss of so many colleagues and friends
* pride and success