Thank you for visiting our Heritage Lottery Funded project blog – Back to the Future. Back to the Future is an oral history project that focuses on the impact and contribution BME organisations have had on the cultural landscape of Southwest England. Using volunteers to both undertake in-depth researcher and conduct interviews, we were able to speak with a number of different individuals from Bristol, Bath, Gloucester and Plymouth who have either started or work within various BME voluntary and community organisations. This blog showcases all of the work done for the project.

In the various pages you will find all of the interviews conducted under Oral Stories.  Here we have full transcripts for a majority of the interviews, along with the audio recordings and pictures.

Under BME Organisations – Then and Now you will find an overview of how BME organisations in general started, along with the individual histories of 11 organisations researched for the project in the Bath, Bristol and Gloucester area.

The Events page highlights the traveling exhibition created for the Back to the Future project. Here you will find the PDF versions of the traveling exhibition boards along with photos that captured the events.

If you have every wanted to conduct your own oral history project, but just didn’t know how to get started, then take a look at our Toolkit page.  Here you will find the link to download our educators toolkit.  In this document is all the information you will need to start your own project.  The toolkit is geared towards K 2-4 educators and community development workers who work with youth – but all are welcomed to use what they need and tailor the project ideas and worksheets for all levels.

Finally, this blog was set up as a resource for all to explore the history of BME organisations in the Southwest of England.  But, it was also started so that others can add their own stories and have this history grow. If you have a story to share please do – add comments, content and photos as you wish.

Thank You,



About Black Southwest Network (BSWN)

BSWN is a regional infrastructure organisation that supports BME and other marginal community organisations in the South West. Its vision and mission are to promote and advocate on behalf of the BME and other marginal Voluntary and Community Sector organisation (BVCS). To strengthen the BVCS in the region by increasing its influence in policy arenas, developing the capacity of the BVCS, providing support, and facilitating skills and knowledge sharing across the sector. The work we do involves a strategic action and delivery-based approach to overcoming discrimination, exclusion, and under representation among the BME, and other marginal communities, in the South West. Moreover, our approach also aims to empower these communities by tackling socio-economic deprivation by working in partnership with other agencies and organisations. As a whole, BSWN is a one-stop-shop for capacity building and community empowerment where with our members we work to create a better informed, skilled and represented third sector
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