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New Heritage Coordinator for Belong Newcastle-under-Lyme

Belong Newcastle-under-Lyme, the specialist dementia care village run by Belong, has appointed Isis Whitmore as Heritage Coordinator to lead a programme of events and activities providing opportunities for people of all ages to engage with local heritage at the Belong Heritage Gallery.

Originally from Bignall End, Isis has a longstanding interest in history, particularly local heritage, going back to when she was a child, when she would often visit local museums and places of interest, including the Brampton Museum in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

She holds a BA in history from the University of Greenwich; while studying, Isis undertook a placement involving archiving, restoration work and conducting tours of New Tavern Fort as a member of the Thames Defence Heritage, as well as volunteering at Milton Chantry for English Heritage. She also gained experience of the care sector as a community carer for two years. This continued when Isis went on to care for her grandparents, as well as during the coronavirus pandemic, when she was a part-time support worker.

Isis maintains links with Audley and District Family History Society and Penkull History Society and plans to use these and other connections with local heritage organisations to develop heritage-based activities and events at the Belong Heritage Gallery.

Commenting on taking on her new role, Isis said: “I’ve always thought of myself as a caring person, and I enjoyed being able to have a positive impact on people’s lives when working in the care sector previously. I’m very excited about promoting local history and heritage in an inclusive way while being in a supporting and caring role. It’s a dream come true to bring these things together.

Belong Newcastle-under-Lyme General Manager, Claire Bibby, said about Isis’s appointment: “Her enthusiasm and passion for local history combined with her experience in the care sector and community values, make her the ideal person for the role. I look forward to her using her knowledge to build on the reputation of the Belong Heritage Gallery by creating a calendar of exciting events that integrates with the village’s experience day service, as well as providing a platform for other local organisations to promote local heritage.

Anyone who would like to volunteer to support events at the Belong Heritage Gallery, including students of history who may be required to undertake a placement as part of their studies, can register their interest by emailing enquiries@belong.org.uk or telephoning 01782 986 300.

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