Introducing... Then & Now: Rebuilding lives after the Great War

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We have won a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to support a project based on discovered letters which were written during the First World War.

We have received £10,000 from First World War: then and now, a grant programme supported by National Lottery players, to fund our project which is called ‘Then & Now: Rebuilding lives after the Great War.’

Run in partnership with Gedling Borough Council and Inspire Youth Arts, the project will investigate 1918 onwards and the impact of the aftermath on local communities and families who tried to rebuild their lives with or without those returning from the war.

Carrie Bird, director of Flying High, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this grant from HLF to support our project exploring and commemorating the changing lives of people all over the country after the First World War 100 years ago.

“It will help us enormously to work on this project, which can be used in the future to help people better understand what is a hugely important event in our history.

“Thank you to HLF and National Lottery players for making this possible.”

Letters written from six men on the front line to a young woman at home will act as a catalyst for all strands of the project. These include letters from the young woman’s fiancé and brother who both died in the last three months of the war.

The project will include workshops for both young and elderly people in local schools and sheltered accommodation; intergenerational groups; a four-day summer course for 8 – 16 year olds (below); a piece of professional theatre and an online learning resource.


The activities will help the community share their understanding of the heritage of the First World War using the letters as a catalyst.

A piece of professional theatre called ‘Dear Lucy…’ will be created to be performed locally and taken to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival, during August.

Throughout the project, processes and outcomes will be gathered and digitally recorded into an interactive online archive which everyone can access, allowing the public to discuss, contribute, share and research information about the aftermath of the First World War.

The funding application was made in partnership with Gedling Borough Council and Inspire Youth Arts who are supporting us in this venture.

Find out how you can help, contribute or get involved with any aspect of the project by heading to our dedicated Then & Now page by clicking right here!