Project Common Threads

21 September 2012

Derbyshire Mind and Derby Museums have won funding to deliver new and creative learning opportunities in Derby. Working under the project name of Common Threads, the two organisations have secured funding of £13000 from the Skills Funding Agency as part of the new Community Learning Innovation Fund, to deliver a learning programme to look at the history and impact of new communities in Derby.

Derbyshire Mind has been working with Derby Museums and around 30 other partner organisations to deliver a walking for wellbeing project called Enjoying Derby. The project was set up to encourage and support people with mental health problems to exercise regularly by joining a walking group. They found that regular walks encouraged active citizenship, and increased levels of interest in history. Some of our partners have included communities of people who do not traditionally access learning opportunities either because of blocks such as mental health problems, language barriers and lack of support.

Derbyshire Mind will work with Derby Museums offering a learning opportunity for disadvantaged communities in Derby to explore the history of new communities in Derby, how they have been integrated and the impact on the host community. This will be done through creative workshops delivered to people from Derby’s new communities and people with mental health problems who will make creative responses to museum collections from Vikings to Romans using media including writing and photography. Participants will be given lots of information about other learning opportunities in the city and one of the aims of the project is to encourage adults to engage in lifelong learning.

Caron Kirkham, project manager says “We will offer opportunities for improving wellbeing by encouraging people to engage in learning that promotes social renewal and strengthens communities by raising the sense of possibility and aspiration of individuals and groups to get involved in and improve their communities through active citizenship, community participation and/ or volunteering. We will bring together groups who do not normally work together, including people with mental health problems and Derby’s new communities. We will create resources such as a website, publications and an exhibition which will reach a wider audience and raise awareness of the issues faced by new communities.
For more information about the Community Learning Innovation Fund please visit

For further information about this project please contact: Caron Kirkham on 01332 345966, or