Famous Fifty get reported on the BBC!!!

See what the BBC said about our exhibition… they also sent a film crew who did a live broadcast at lunchtime followed by a longer broadcast in the early evening East Midlands Today programme.

Coalville’s wooden WW1 soldiers depict ‘Famous Fifty’

The wooden soldiers were painted and decorated by members of the public
Life-size wooden soldiers representing 50 men who fought in World War One have been decorated and put on display with a trench in their home town.
The “Famous Fifty” were specially selected volunteers from the Coalville area of Leicestershire who went to fight on the Western Front in 1914.
Due to their mining background many of the men became tunnellers, but only 22 ever returned home.
Organiser Julia Burkin said the project has brought the soldiers back to life.

Hundreds of people in Coalville decorated the wooden cut-outs after they were sent to schools, colleges and other organisations, for the exhibition at the Market Hall.
People were also encouraged to find out about the lives of the men and speak to living relatives.
Ms Burkin said: “[The project] has been more than just about decorating cut-outs, we’ve been living, breathing and sleeping the men’s stories.
“It brings it home what war feels like.”

Organises said the project has brought the soldiers back to life
The idea of honouring the men came from a book titled Fifty Good Men and True by Michael Kendrick.
He told the BBC that following the deaths of so many soldiers in August 1914, “tough, hardy” volunteers were needed and Coalville was selected as the place to find them.
They marched off from St John the Baptist Church, in Hugglescote, to the train station in Coalville, with thousands of people cheering them, Mr Kendrick said.
“In the main they were kept together for several months, but obviously every now and again one of them would get shot or shelled.”
Only 22 of them returned home after many had been used as tunnellers – some were entombed at Vimy Ridge during the Battle of Arras, in 1917.
The Famous Fifty exhibition will be in Coalville Market Hall until 2 December.

Making friends in the right places…

untitledJulia and Deana are at this exciting Convention in Manchester!

After an interesting start to the days activities, and some nice pastries, they were soon taking part in the workshops

The workshops attended included

  • Community Health and Wellbeing
  • Start Up Funding
  • Kindred Spirits
  • Storytelling

In the evening there was a book launch by Steve Wyler titled In our Hands – a history of community business followed by a play which incorporated much of the timeline in the book!

We met some really exciting contacts [we won’t embarrass them online] but suffice to say they now have our emails of introduction!

We will update again tomorrow!

East Midlands Heritage Awards 2017


WDONxvV8W0AAKJ_ae were really excited to share with you the fact that we were nominated for two prestigious awards….  the Innovation Category for our super duper pen racer and local hero map, a fun and interactive way to download lots of heritage facts whilst racing a pen around a track, avoiding penalty points!! This game has proved invaluable at community events, in schools and to promote local hero activities. Imagine 8 players, a timer, race against your competitors… shouting out facts as you go!!

We were so excited to be part of the line up!

We were also lucky enough to also be nominated for the Engaging Young People Award – this was for our work with young people; they were actively encouraged to help produDONws06W0AEI1Cyce a heritage film about Coalville in North West Leicestershire. The film gave young people the chance to research local heritage sites, script writing,  filming and editing. Whilst the funding we hoped to secure with the film failed to materialise this time, we were so very proud when it was selected as one way which we use to engage with young people.




We had a Thinking Day…

What’s a Thinking Day, you may be thinking.

It goes a little like this

  • choose the goal
  • check how likely you are to achieving it
  • explore all the possible ways you could get to your goal
  • consider who else might be able to help and why they may want to
  • explore all the possible barriers or obstacles you might have along the way
  • prioritise the possibilities
  • remove or reduce barriers
  • make  plan – your task list
  • define your goal – it might have changed after all this thinking
  • check how likely you are to achieve it now you have completed your thinking
  • share your goal
  • take personal responsibility for getting the results you want

We are lucky in that we use this to help us


Our good friends at Go MAD Thinking gave us lots of training in how to use this and then agreed to support us taking their business tool into schools and communities.

Watch out for when we start offering to show schools and community groups ways they could access our THINK! tools, specially adapted from the business models that so many large organisations use with Go MAD Thinking.

If you are a business reading this and you want to know about the corporate offer direct from Go MAD Thinking you can check them out here http://www.gomadthinking.com/








Mock Interviews -exciting times!

It was a real pleasure to meet the pupils of King Edward VII College in Coalville on 1 March 2017. Deana and Julia, took part in the ‘mock interview’ day, they saw just how much talent and passion there is in young people, some with clear cut career paths already in place, others taking their time to see what develops! lgi01a201310230300

It was memorable to see “the smiles on the faces of those students who particularly lack confidence and have overcome this as a result of their interviews. Volunteering your time at events such as this makes a colossal difference to the lives of young people. You have widened their horizons, raised their aspirations, improved their confidence and made them smile. Your hard work has literally changed the lives of the young people you interacted with; neither we nor they can possibly thank you enough!”

Alice Wealleans, Senior Leader for Employability

Deana and Julia are in the great position to offer young people the chance to get meaningful community based volunteering opportunities in Coalville. Why not get in touch and see how you can be part of our team of Coalville Heroes!

EXHIBITION : George Smith of Coalville – the Children’s Friend

Hope you can make it to the market in Coalville on Friday or Saturday  (Feb 17th / 18th) to visit the first contemporary art exhibition it has ever hosted!

Newbridge pupils have been working very hard to create an interpretation of the life and times of one of Coalvilles great heroes GEORGE SMITH!.  Come along to find out more. All welcome.  We would love  your feedback and nominations for other Coalville heroes! There ‘s a chance for you to add to the exhibition too!  Bring your kids, bring your grannies,  bring yourselves. See you there!

It’s open between 10 and 4pm




12 Days of Coalville Market Christmas! Win £50 to spend for your entries.

Ok. Starting on December 1st  your chance to make a song for Coalville but also to win £50 to spend!

Day 1 will be followed by 11 more. Watch as they reveal the full song!  A true Coalville community version will be made and released on Christmas eve!

Get involved . Thanks to James Reader of Front Row Films for the film,  the market traders for the words and Coalville Male Voice Choir for the recording !

Any other suggestions for mad ideas please send them to deana@theheroproject.org.uk

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4