Toggle mobile menu visibility

Tackle loneliness this winter with the History Begins at Home project

Norfolk County Council, 28 November 2022 00:00

The first themes for 2023 to encourage people to have conversations about the past have been announced by the Norfolk Record Office, which runs the History Begins at Home project.

Start off in January by having a conversation with somebody about the 1960s, before spending February, the month of Valentine's Day, reminiscing about love. March will bring the opportunity to chat about team spirit, which could be anything that involved people working towards a common goal.

The project began in 2020 to encourage intergenerational conversations and improve wellbeing by reducing loneliness. The initial idea was to inspire phone calls during lockdown, and the project has grown and now produces monthly conversation-starting question sheets which provide the perfect excuse to talk about the past.

These question sheets have been used by many organisations, such as libraries, schools, and youth organisations to encourage learning about the past, and promoting healthy conversation about topics which might normally not be discussed.

Cllr Margaret Dewsbury, cabinet member for communities and partnerships, said: "This project was a fantastic idea during the pandemic to encourage people to pick up the phone and have a chat.

"I'm really pleased that the project has been so successful so as to be able to continue and grow over the last two years. The resources, which are freely available, can help people to reach out this winter and check in on loved ones."

Groups which take place at Norfolk Libraries have found the resources to be particularly helpful. Rachel Ridealgh, Community Librarian for Local Studies, said: "For the past couple of years I've been using the question sheets during sessions with the fortnightly 'Time Travellers' group for older people that I run here at the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library.

"Every couple of weeks the group gets together to reminisce over a cup of tea, and the sheets have really helped to spark some fantastic memories and conversations. It's wonderful to see people rediscover things that they'd forgotten about, and to see them light up at the recognition of shared memories. We've all learnt so much more about each other's past."

People can join in with the project by follow History Begins at Home on Twitter (@BeginsHistory) and Facebook (@historybeginsathome). You can find the conversation-starting question sheets for each month, as well as the entire back-catalogue, at

Last modified: 14 May 2024 12:44

Share this page

Facebook icon Twitter icon Email icon


Print icon