From May 22nd to May 27th a PPS joint staff training course was held in Lecce.

Hosted by the University of Salento around 30 participants came together in the monastery of Olivetani. The historic venue, now used by the University of Salento set the right tone for a course about heritage community building.

A full and very diverse programme awaited the participants. Experts gave input on relevant topics like value, adult learning and the Faro convention. Methods for HC-building were introduced. Participants gained insights and experienced storytelling, thanks to Shona Cowie, a Scottish storyteller and Placetelling, a method introduced through the University of Salento.

To deepen the understanding of these inputs and put them into application the participants worked in groups on real life cases. Some people brought examples from communities they’re involved in. Applying the inputs to real life cases equipped all participants with valuable competences for heritage community building. The ones who brought the examples left Lecce with lots of ideas and input on how build and grow their community. It was fascinating to see the guidelines and methods applied on very different cases. Ranging from food to buildings as heritage. Some communities have existed for so long that an approach of how to bring fresh air into it is needed, others are at the very beginning and the question of how to implement and grow a community with its organisational structures was the main takeaway.

In the afternoons the University of Salento put together an extensive programme of excursions to see heritage communities in Salento. Participants go to see and talk to community members of e.g., a community run mill, a permanent active citizenship laboratory, the Salento Natural history museum and a theatrical performance in a castle. The experience was rounded off by enjoying one of the area’s most important cultural heritages: food.