Thursday, 25 July 2013

The published column!

The column about our project was published on Wednesday 17th July in the DT1 supplement of the Dorset Echo.

Hopefully it is readable!

If not here is the transcription:

We are a group of young volunteers aged between 15 and 25 who have raised our own money to carry out a project called ‘Walking in Their Shoes’ supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. We meet weekly at Routes Youth Cafe in Dorchester supported by the Dorset Youth Association. We are exploring Dorset’s ancient pathways by walking in the shoes of the Saxon pilgrim, St Aldhelm and a soldier from the First World War who journeyed along the same route. The First World War touched the lives of every family in Dorchester. We will be utilising our oral history training to record passed on family memories of the war at Dorchester care homes and we will run listening posts at events such as the Dorset County Show and the Dorchester Anonymous Festival. These memories will be incorporated into an interactive GPS treasure trail. We work closely with local heritage organisations including The Tank Museum in Bovington; one of the stops along our route. The museum staff visited Routes to share their plans for an exciting new War Horse exhibition. We especially liked their idea of positioning mechanical horses in the exhibition as they would surprise visitors by talking to them in first person about their experiences of the Great War. We are also planning a First World War creative writing workshop for young people in the first week of August. To find out more about our project please visit: If you want to join our group call us on 07788203003. 

At the bottom of the article the visit from Bovington Tank Museum is mentioned. They visited us at Routes to discuss their plans for a new War Horse exhibition which will hopefully be on display early next year, in line with the 100 year anniversary of World War One. As well as the talking horses they are hoping to have two tanks on display, one of which featured in the film War Horse itself.

The staff bought in original artefacts and photos from the Great War as well as photos taken on the set of the film. We found the images very moving as several featured injured soldiers or horses. However, we thought these highlighted the real, serious nature of the war and the harsh consequences the soldiers faced by fighting for their country. We found the artefacts very interesting, particularly the sword and rifle!
The museum staff were very enthusiastic about their new exhibition and spoke animately about the history of World War One, it was like our own private history lesson!

Hopefully the author of War Horse, Michael Murpurgo, will be able to visit the exhibition and see the work he has inspired!
We know we certainly can't wait to see it!

We have also decided that the WW1 creative writing workshop will probably run later this year so we have longer to get artefacts together and make it more fun!

Look out for our next column which should be published in the next four weeks in the Dorset Echo DT1 supplement.

Please follow us on Twitter @DorsetWitS for project updates!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Royal Garden Party at Moreton to celebrate 70 years of the Dorset Youth Association

Yesterday, the Dorset Youth Association played host to a royal garden party for around 200 guests at Moreton Gardens. The event was held to mark the 70th anniversary of the Dorset Youth Association and many organisations under it's umbrella attended, with a special visit from His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex (Prince Edward).

The event was run very successfully and we were able to inform the Prince about our new project.
Jenny and Issy were the press officers for the day and showed the Echo reporter and Dorset Life editor around the marquees displaying information from various DYA organisations. During this time they were able to share information about our project. They were even offered the fantastic opportunity to write an 1000 word article about DYA's incredible 70-year history for the Dorset Life magazine with a deadline at the end of August.

Edward was in charge of Geocaching on the day and set a mini Geocaching course for young people to get a taste for GPS treasure hunting, which proved very popular.

Connor and Alex were welcoming people on the gate, helping the caterers and talking to people about the history involved in our project.

Jack was presented with a certificate which acknowledges his hard work volunteering with youth services.

We were even treated to a delicious array of mini nibbles, including sandwiches, scones and cakes with squash and lemonade. Very refreshing on a hot day!

There was a range of games available for young people to play in the gardens which some of us tried ourselves as they looked too fun to resist!

The event was even featured in the Echo with some quotes from us about the project!
Read the article here:

The food and band marquee!

The plaque unveiled by the Prince

Our project board!

Routes - 'Walking in their Shoes' project group in our marquee at the garden party

70 years of DYA!

Prince Edward makes his entrance and talks to volunteers about their projects

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Project Update!

We have updated our twitter account for our new project so please visit: for updates and tweet us @DorsetWitS.

We also have a new logo for the project which is coming soon.

There will be a column in the Dorset Echo DT1 supplement tomorrow about the project. We are hoping to publish a new column every 4-6 weeks.

Please continue to visit our blog for more updates and information about the project.