A project which celebrates West Cumbria's culture and heritage is looking for more local people as it enters its final phase.

Organised by Kirkgate Arts and Heritage based in Cockermouth, In My Shoes is an ambitious 18-month project that began in April 2023.

Now, as it draws nearer to its conclusion in September, the organisers are calling for more local individuals to share their personal stories.

The project has thrilled the community with storytelling events, theatre, music and exhibitions designed to provoke individuals into sharing their personal history.

A unique aspect of In My Shoes is the way it honours local diversity by recording personal experiences through oral history workshops.

Kirkgate community projects officer Helen Johnston explained: "The project is working with people and groups across the area to explore our communities.

"What makes them unique?

"What do you take pride in?

"What are your family traditions?

"What is your story?"

Various components make up the project including holding events with diverse community groups and recording interviews with those eager to share their stories.

A team of volunteers has been trained in oral history interviewing and these narratives will form part of Kirkgate’s Heritage Collection and be preserved in Whitehaven Archives.

The Kirkgate Heritage Group is assembling an exhibition at the Kirkgate Centre for August.

It will feature stories of people who have moved into Cockermouth through time, like the Irish immigration in the 19th century, people of African origin from 18th-century church records, and displaced individuals from the Moota Prisoner of War camp after World War 2 who settled in Cockermouth.

Ms Johnston added: "Do you have a story to tell about your West Cumbrian heritage?

"We would love to interview you.

"We want to hear from people who were born and brought up in West Cumbria, and some of the unique aspects of life here, alongside stories from recent refugees, immigrants and people who have relocated to the region."

For those interested, more information about the project is available on the Kirkgate website.

For participation enquiries, contact Helen Johnston, community projects officer, on 01900 829966 or email enquiries@thekirkgate.com.