Support to Azook CIC During 2014

As we approach our first full year of support to Azook Community Interest Company it seems appropriate to report on some of the work we have done with them.

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Azook Community Interest Company is an organisation, based out of Pool Innovation Centre, that aims to help people connect with the culture and heritage of Cornwall. It has a number of projects going forward. Azook CIC is a not for profit organisation and relies on funding from bodies such as the Heritage Lottery Fund and also from match funding from individuals, organisation and commercial companies.

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Benbole Management was contracted to care-take Azook CIC in January 2014 for the duration of 2014. It has been a busy year during which the Azook CIC project portfolio has thrived and grown. First and foremost among the outputs of 2014 has been the continued development and delivery of the Heritage Lottery Funded re:collect project which has created and is building cornishmemory.com. This is a £330,000 heritage project that aspires to build the go-to online resource for digitised archive material from the 150 years in Cornwall.

cornishmemory-screenshot-600x218  cornishmemory.com is a free online website which has a vast archive of photographic, audiovisual and audio records held in perpetuity. The project relies on a volunteer force which has done a terrific job of digitising the many archives that have been contributed. Volunteers are also able to access an archive management and digitisation qualification. Whereas much of the work has been achieved at Pool Innovation Centre the team has also got out on the road with its mobile digitisation studio; this has been a key aspect of the project spreading the word and promoting the website in the community and also it has provided the opportunity to gather archive gems held in the community.

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Dickie Trant with the Azook Team delivering digitisation training for a Guides Project

Dickie Trant with the Azook Team delivering digitisation training for a Guides Project

Azook CIC also runs the Sense of Place website which is a wonderful resource available to schools in Cornwall. Sense of Place has taken the topics and modules of the National Curriculum and created place-based learning modules to mirror them. These placed-based learning modules give students and teachers a vast resource to tap into and also, because they are orientated to places in the region, make the learning experience accessible, more relevant and engaging. Administration for this has fallen within the remit of the Benbole Management contract.

For sometime Azook CIC has been seeking to initiate a sister project to the cornishmemory.com website. MemoryFish is the result. It was launched in November and will run for a year; in the run up to the launch significant effort was required to secure funding for the valuable project. Benbole Management has been a the vanguard of this effort during the year.

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