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History scheme shortlisted for award

Project Digby supports volunteers on the autism spectrum

1620s house and garden
Donington Le Heath Manor House

A history project for 11-16-year-old volunteers on the autism spectrum has been shortlisted for a prestigious national museum and heritage award.
 
Project Digby was a five-week initiative which ran last summer at the county council's 1620s House and Garden in Donington-le-Heath, near Coalville.
 
The project has been shortlisted in the national museums and heritage awards, where it is competing against four other volunteer projects for the top prize in the volunteers of the year category. The winners will be announced by celebrity vicar, the Rev. Richard Coles at a ceremony in London on Wednesday, 15 May.
 

I'm delighted that Project Digby has been shortlisted for this prestigious national award. The efforts and commitment of the volunteers highlights that everyone has something valuable to offer. Their contribution has inspired a change in how our heritage sites and teams can work with and for their local community.

Project Digby was developed by the heritage volunteering team, in partnership with Autism East Midlands and focuses on the history of the 1620s House, and the Digby family who lived there.
 
The aim of the project has been to allow its young participants the chance to become ‘time travellers’, exploring various aspects of 17th-century life, including music, witchcraft, games and food. 
 
Through their learning, the group was then able to make the museum more 'autism-friendly' and create a fun quiz for future visitors to the 1620s house  to enjoy.
 
The project has also left a lasting legacy, through the creation of a guide which is available to independent museums throughout Leicestershire. The guide will help them put on their own autism-friendly activities and make autism-friendly adaptations.
 
Anyone interested in getting involved in volunteering through heritage is asked to contact nicola.seika@leics.gov.uk or 0116 305 0552. 
 
More information can also be found at https://www.leicestershire.gov.uk/volunteer

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