With the More Than Oliver Twist project drawing to an official close in September 2020, the Workhouse Network is setting its sights to the future. Over the next few months, a select committee will help to develop a five-year forward plan to uncover what is next in store for the network…
We have reached a pivotal moment for the Workhouse Network; reeling at the successes of our Arts Council England funded pilot project, we are now once again questioning where does the network go from here? To help hash together plans and policies, the network has surrounded itself with a small group of specialised experts – all invested in the subject of workhouses and welfare histories, the Forward Planning Team brings together academics, museums professionals and archivists.
Whilst seemingly quite daunting, the task ahead of us is a chance for the network to redefine its remit and refocus its aims on new and exciting ventures. What do we want the network to achieve; what position regionally, nationally and internationally do we want the network to have; who are our members and what do they receive in return for their interest; what are our key values, and what actions do we take each year to make sure we are sticking to them? By late September 2020, we hope to have written a full-length report that goes a long way to answer these questions, whilst also offering specific and practical objectives alongside a detailed action plan.
Having had our inaugural meeting on Friday 10th July, we are now continuing to research funding streams, and the opportunities and threats that lay ahead for Subject Specialist Networks given the current national picture. A virtual visioning meeting is on the horizon - with the help of a trained facilitator, our research and the views of current and potential members will be brought together to establish the foundations of our final forward plan.
We look forward to sharing more details with you!
If you are an organisation, or researcher, who has an invested interest in workhouse and welfare histories, and think that you could be a part of this conversation, please do take the time to complete our Workhouse Network survey.