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The Centre for Armenian Information and Advice (CAIA) based in Acton, West London is pleased to announce that it has been awarded £73,100 by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to enable a project relating to UK Armenians during World War I.  The project will commence in April 2016 and will run for 21 months.

Much of Armenian history is recorded within personal memories and CAIA recognise the importance of collating and preserving a varied source of information such as personal memories, photographs and other media relating to this period for future generations.   This project will seek to organise talks which will take place at both the CAIA’s Hayashen Centre in West London and The Wiener Library in Central London.

The CAIA will recruit volunteers who will benefit from work skills and specialist training in Photography, Filming, Social Media as well as Oral History and Research training, which will be provided by Eastside Community Heritage. Volunteers will be based in West London working from CAIA’s unique community reference library.

The CAIA will develop and create a project website which will house the research, associated documentation, photos, videos and other resources such as the independent creation and compilation of oral history media which will be accessible to wide audiences by being stored online by the British library.

The CAIA will create a short documentary film, which will enjoy screenings at the Hayashen Centre and the Wiener Library as well as development of a floating exhibition, which will be used at local schools to enable discussion and debate.

CAIA Board member Diane John said “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund to enable UK’s Armenian community to document their personal experiences during the First World War which was so significant that its impact still resonates today in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th generations born in diaspora. For them the past is always present. Our project will actively preserve the testimonies and memories of UK families”.

Stuart Hobley, Head of HLF London, said: “The experiences of the Armenian community during the First World War continue to hold great significance for families in the London today. We are delighted that, thanks to National Lottery players, this project will allow more people to explore the continuing legacy of the conflict, and allow the often under-explored stories of this community to be shared with a wider audience”.