Laindon and District Community Archive – Sponsorship
Re: Saving our Community Archive website
We are looking for sponsorship to enable us to enhance and save our valuable collection of memories and photographs that we have collected over the past 7 years for future generations. The cost of this enhancement is approximately £2,000 and we are therefore looking for local businesses and individuals to help us raise this one off sum.
The background to this fund raising is detailed below:
A Community Archive preserves the history and heritage of an area in a digital format on the Internet. By doing so digitally they do not have to have physical possession of items, and make the heritage available 24/7 to the local area and those who are interested anywhere in the world. In particular people who live away from an area can add their memories of when they lived there so that over a period of time a picture of a place’s past is built up.
Our site is one of the 7 that are associated with SEECAN. It was set up 7 years ago when the web was slower, smart phones did not exist and social media was not so pervasive. The software was good for collecting people’s memories and photos and displaying them to the local community and have proved popular. Since then some of the sites have added various ad-hoc additions such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs, as well as accumulating a lot of digital material which it has not been easy to display.
The software we use is bespoke, developed by a small firm called Community Sites, which specialises in providing support for Community Archive Groups. There is no risk of them going out of business at the moment but the possibility needs to be considered as we will then be locked in to software which cannot be enhanced or even have bugs fixed.
The firm has ceased developing this old software and now base their support offering on a free Open Source product called WordPress. Unlike the current software this is supported by tens of thousands of people around the world and adding new features to it is relatively straightforward.
We cannot just use this product as it first has to be configured to work the way we want it to, and then all our existing pages of material migrated across to it. These are not easy things to do and the pages alone would take our small team months of dedicated work to achieve.
Community Sites offer a solution to set up WordPress and transfer all pages across. We will still have some editing to do, but the workload would be small and achievable by our team.
Our site could go it alone and this would cost us £4,000. However if all 7 sites belonging to SEECAN do it together the total would be £12,600. This means our site’s share would be £1,800, which is a substantial saving in cost.
SEECAN is about to go ahead as some of the 7 sites have already raised the necessary finance. We would like to go ahead with them for which we need funds if we are to preserve the history and heritage of our area. Can you help us?
If you are willing to support us in any small way please complete the form below making your cheque payable to ‘Laindon and District Community Archive’. We will be willing to add your name to our sponsor page and if you are a business, be more than happy to advertise your business and write a history piece.
Name & Address
A printable version of this form can be opened by clicking the link at the bottom of this page.
54 Welbeck Drive
Essex SS16 6BU