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Young Merton Together

Colliers Wood Partnership Secured Heritage Lottery Funding

CWRAColliers Wood Partnership (Colliers Wood Resident Association, Sustainable Merton, Woodcraft Folk and Polish Family Association) led by Colliers Wood Residents Association has received £46,800 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, for a project to explore the history of the child evacuees from Colliers Wood to Lurgashall in East Sussex during WWII. They have called the project HYPER ‘Heritage, Young People, Elderly Residents.’

HYPER will enable local young people and the wider community to learn about Colliers Wood heritage, and engage children and families in fun ways to research the history of the Colliers Wood evacuees during WWII, and help them to make a record of their findings for generations to come in the form of a Colliers Wood Treasure Book.

Our project will be a great opportunity to work across generations, it will influence the local community to develop relationships and understanding of local history between young and old, and open doors for young people to be actively engaged in recollecting history and memories.

The HYPER project will involve:

Colliers Wood Partnership will work with young people to help them learn through developing media and communication skills, and will allow young participants from across Merton to get involved in a wide range of activities. The project will:

  • Train young people in project research, oral history recording and using digital audio recording equipment.
  • Enable young people to participate in historical cooking activities and researching food, fashion and life during WWII.
  • Enable young people to create the Colliers Wood Treasure Book.
  • Enable young people to take part in the local community garden to grow their own food and learn about healthy eating.
  • Collect 20 oral histories from older Colliers Wood residents.
  • Enable young people to take part in a 3-day trip to Lurgashall in East Sussex to follow in the footsteps of the WWII evacuees.

Commenting on the award, Tom Searle, Chair of the Colliers Wood Resident Association said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and are confident the project will support young people to be active citizens with pride in their Colliers Wood Heritage.”

Explaining the importance of the HLF support, the HLF in London, said: “This is an excellent project for the young people of Colliers Wood. As well as the vast collection of skills they will develop, this in-depth look at their own local heritage will help give them a greater sense of identity. The 1940’s World War II children evacuation has always been a significant part of the Colliers Wood history. This project helps raise its profile once again.”

HLFAbout the Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported over 30,000 projects, allocating £4.6billion across the UK. Website:

For further information, images and interviews, please contact Slawek Szczepanski at Polish Family Association on 07917401064 or


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