As part of their initial training Community Reporters in Wensleydale asked each other "Why do you want to be a Community Reporter?". Here Samantha Belcher tells Emily Blackburn what motivated her.
Bringing History to Life
Samantha Belcher, an Archaeology graduate from the North East, bears the wordy job title of Heritage, Education & Training Coordinator for the Gayle Mill Trust. This trust is the charity that looks after Gayle Mill, a restored Victorian sawmill, which now operates both as a functioning sawmill and as a visitor attraction.
As with most things worth doing in the Dales, Samantha was introduced to the concept of community reporting by word-of-mouth, both on and offline. Before being offered this opportunity she was unaware of what community reporting was, but now feels that she understands it and that it will be useful in her career. She hopes to use the skills she has learned at her current job, and hopes that they will be useful to help her find work when her fixed-term contract ends. One of her duties at Gayle Mill is involving the local community in a variety of events. She hopes that community reporting will make this easier. ‘I want to learn how to write interesting stories for local people, so that they feel involved’, she says.
Gayle Mill runs three types of events, which have a scope for local and national interest. These events are evening talks, hands-on courses and family fun. For more information on these events, which include talks with an archaeologist and a workshop for children to make nesting boxes, can be found at www.gaylemill.org.uk.