Spreading the cultural heritage of Sheffield across the world

One of Portland Works’ key objectives is to build an accessible educational resource for the community and we regularly work closely with both Sheffield universities to welcome their students from across the world. They often become volunteers while here in Sheffield and several have taken the opportunity to gain practical experience of heritage management through work placements at our Grade 2* listed building.

“They provide us with lots of practical support and we’re thrilled when they take the knowledge and skills they gained here back to their home countries,” says Stella Howe, outreach and education officer at Portland Works.

Jooyoung Lee volunteered to archive our materials while working on her PHD at the University of Sheffield. She visited every week to complete this work and produced an excellent index. When she returned to South Korea, she was able to pass on her knowledge of heritage preservation.

Students from the Department of Archaeology at the University of Sheffield visit Portland Works as part of their Cultural Heritage Management MA course. Erica Poot Paredes, Saraah Ahmed and Mohammed Saqib Idrees were recently part of this cohort. “They were also very keen to become volunteers and support our open day. It was an excellent learning experience for them. They were able to meet and interact with the public and acted as volunteer stewards, facilitated the use of QR codes, photographed the day, helped with refreshments and brought along many of their friends to introduce them to the Works,” said Stella.

“Some of the group continued to provide support right up to September and the end of their one-year course. They were a fantastic help with the afternoon tea lecture in June as part of the Great Get Together event inspired by Jo Cox MP. They also gained experience of managing events, engaging with the public and for some, practicing their language skills.”

Erica shot a most wonderful series of images of the Works which we are planning to exhibit for our 2021 open day. She now teaches at the University in Mexico City and keeps in touch to tell us how she draws on her experience at Portland Works in her teaching.

“I started to teach in two courses at the Autonomous University of Mexico in a BA called Intercultural management,” said Erica in a recent letter. “This week, I talked and showed some photos of Portland Works in my course and the students were very interested about it. I want to let you know that I promote Portland works and all your job on this side of the world. I just want to say thank you again. I had a great time at Sheffield and I would never forget it.”

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