Belonging in Crawley project

woman with long grey hair wearing a purple top and smiling.

Hi all, I would like to introduce myself briefly. My name is Jan Whiley and I was born and raised in Crawley. My Maiden name was Shouler, a name that might be familiar to some of our older generations. My father was Derek Shouler who ran Modern Car Services, the only car hire company in Crawley at the time and my uncle, Ken Shouler was the proprietor of Crawley School of Ballroom Dancing, often referred to as ‘Leons’ after the shop below. I have volunteered for this worthwhile project as a writer to support the museum blog as Crawley is in my heart and soul.

The museums latest project ‘belonging in Crawley’ has been part funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and is to celebrate 75 years of Crawley New Town. This will incorporate several workshops with eight local community organisations and aims to bring Crawley Museum to the people who live and work in our lovely town. These organisations are: Crawley Open House, YMCA DLG Crawley Foyer, Outreach 3way, Diverse Crawley, Refugees Welcome Crawley, Crawley Town Community Foundation, Crawley Interfaith Network and Crawley Community Youth Service. The groups are a mixture of ones who have a history of working with the museum and some that we have not worked with before so a nice mixture of old and new audiences.

Andrea the project manager has recruited volunteers to the project and they are being trained in object handling and community engagement, to help run the workshops, and a small team to help with project publicity.

Workshops for the general public will be running in August. We would love to hear about your own experiences of Crawley and what represents ‘Belonging in Crawley’ to you. There will be three workshops held on Friday 12th August – 2-4pm, Friday 19th August 11am -1pm and Friday 19th August- 2pm-4pm, all held in Crawley Museum’s learning space. We encourage you to come along, with objects, photos and your ideas about what represents ‘Belonging in Crawley’ to you.

How can you help you may well be asking? The project is part funded but we still need to raise £1000. A JustGiving page has been set up to raise the funds. If you can spare a few pounds for this worthwhile project, please follow the link and make a donation, however small it all adds up.

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