The Central Otago Heritage Trust’s two-year Oral History pilot project concluded last month. The project can now begin its next phase of development thanks to a $21,000 grant received from the Central Lakes Trust, approved at their August Board Meeting.

Oral History Manager, Carolyn Squires

Telling the stories of people in the wider Central Otago region through oral histories has been the focus of the 31-strong volunteer workforce over the last two years in the pilot phase. “Receiving this grant ensures that we can maintain our momentum. The grant will be used to continue training and support for the volunteers and purchasing new recording equipment,” Carolyn Squires, part-time Oral History project manager says.

Central Stories has also confirmed their ongoing support for the project, providing the venue for the volunteer weekly drop-in sessions.

Central Lakes Trust was also the major funding partner of the pilot phase. “Receiving ongoing funding from CLT is a major confidence boost, as it recognises the successes we’ve made so far. We’re also working towards implementing an online repository so these stories can be shared more readily with the wider community,” Carolyn says.

Other supporters of the pilot phase included the Lotteries (Environment and Heritage) Fund, Otago Community Trust, and the Jack Illot Fund. Central Otago Heritage Trust is now awaiting decision from these agencies to reach their final fundraising target.