£2m Grant Fund Will Help Museums Back Veterans Reunited

| 04 June 2004
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Shows a photograph of two World War Two veterans, wearing berets with military badges and rows of medals, talking to a young boy. One of the veterans is leaning on a tank.

Photo: the £2m will help current and future generations learn about the momentous events of 1939-45. Photo: David Devins. © NewsCast.

A £2 million grant fund is to be set up to enable museums, libraries and archives across the country to get involved in a lottery-funded campaign to mark the 60th anniversary of the end Second World War.

Paid for by the Big Lottery Fund, Veterans Reunited is aimed at giving young people the opportunity to learn first-hand from WWII veterans about their experiences.

One of its central strands will be Their Past, Your Future, an opportunity for museums, libraries and archives to host events, activities and exhibitions to commemorate the momentous events of 60 years ago.

A travelling exhibition developed by the Imperial War Museum will form the project's centrepiece and will make visits to sites across the country.

Shows a photograph of two World Two veterans sitting side by side. They are wearing berets with military badges fixed to them and one has a row medals pinned to his jacket.

Photo: commemorative events to mark the end of the war will follow in the wake of a host of ceremonies, exhibitions and activities to remember the D-Day landings, which took place 60 years ago on June 6, 2004. Courtesy D-Day Museum.

A £2m grant to fund the project, which will run from February 2005 to February 2006, has been made available through MLA to enable English museums, libraries and archives to take part.

"Their Past, Your Future is such an important project," said MLA Chief Executive Chris Batt. "It will give children of all ages a better understanding of the events leading up to the war and to learn from their grandparents and great grandparents what life was like then."

"Our sector has something very important to bring to the veterans campaign and we want to encourage all museums, libraries and archives – whatever their size, wherever they are – to register for an application pack to get involved in this project."

There are two ways for museums, libraries and archives to get involved: either by hosting the IWM travelling exhibition (either on site or externally) or by putting on their own events and activities.

Grants of £15,000-£25,000 are available to interested institutions and the 24 Hour Museum is helping out by making its Direct Data Entry system available for the registration process.

Shows a photograph of the main entrance to the Imperial War Museum. It is a large classical style building with a central dome rising above a columned frontage, topped with a portico. In front of it there are neat gardens, rising up out of which are two large gun barrels.

Photo: the Imperial War Museum has already started planning a touring exhibition to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of WWII. © Imperial War Museum, London.

Museums wanting to take part can register for an application pack by emailing pastfuture@24hourmuseum.org.uk.

We’ll then set you up with a username and password, which will allow you to register your interest, input details of proposed events and request an application pack. The deadline for registration is June 23.

Their Past Your Future money is only available to museums, libraries and archives in England, so organisations based in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland should contact their relevant coordinator: Christine Galey at the Scottish Museums Council, Gwyn Jenkins at the National Library of Wales or Chris Bailey at the Northern Ireland Museums Council.

Other projects in the Veterans Reunited campaign include Home Front Recall, a scheme providing cash for street parties, parades and reunions.

Another strand is entitled Heroes Return and is set to provide travelling costs for veterans or bereaved spouses to visit the countries where they served.

More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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