"I get to tell my story, my way and show that people with a learning disability can do anything"

Big 30 contributor, Ono Dafedjaiye

What is The Big 30?

The Big 30 celebrates 30 years of Heart n Soul, a creative arts charity that believes in the power and talents of people with learning disabilities. As part of the celebrations we have created The Big 30 Archive, which is available on this website and as an installation in Deptford throughout July.

Listen to our highlights podcast, featuring stories and music from The Big 30 Archive here: 

You can also download the highlights podcast on your smartphone or mobile device to listen to on your visit to The Big 30 Installation. Find out how here!


Who is involved?

30 people and groups made up of Heart n Soul artists, staff, volunteers and participants with and without learning disabilities. They represent all the different parts of Heart n Soul which make us who we are today. They will each be telling their story looking at the significant impact they have had on the development of Heart n Soul.

What’s the aim of The Big 30 Archive?

It will be the first of its kind where people with learning disabilities tell their own stories in their own words, creating a unique archive of learning disability culture.

The archive will also help to build a wider picture of individual experiences, diverse communities and the impact of on-going social change in South East London.

How will we share the archive?

We plan to share the archive as widely as possible:

  • The archive will be transformed into art installations for everyone to enjoy as part of our Big 30 Summer Takeover, a month long festival happening in Deptford in July. Visitors will be able to see and hear the stories and add their own memories to the collection. There will also be a range of events and performances taking place across Deptford.
  • The whole archive will be permanently added to the London Metropolitan Archives so everyone can learn more about this rich and diverse culture. Later this year the archive will also be displayed at Lewisham Library and Goldsmiths, University of London.
  • The stories will also live here on The Big 30 website and will be featured on Heart n Soul Radio.

How can I get involved?

Come to our festival of events this summer! We would love to see you at our Big 30 Summer Takeover, so please join us in Deptford this July to celebrate our 30th birthday and the talents and power of people with learning disabilities. You'll be able to see and hear the stories from The Big 30 Archive, plus watch performances from Heart n Soul's artists including Lizzie Emeh, Pino Frumiento, Tilley Milburn and The Fish Police!

You can also share your own stories about Heart n Soul or learning disability culture with us. We want as many people as possible to share their memories of Heart n Soul, which will add to this rich archive. Send us a photo, a video, a written message or give us a call. 

#Big30Archive #Big30Summer


phonePHONE: 020 8694 1632

facebookFACEBOOK: @HeartnSoulArt

twitterTWITTER: @HeartnSoulArt

The Big 30 archive is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

See a full list of Heart n Soul funders here

Charity registration number: 1023467 Company Limited number: 2830733