Making heritage relevant to more – and more diverse – young people, is important says the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF), which is why it set up ‘Kick the Dust’, a £10 million pilot programme to explore new ways of working with young people.
Making heritage relevant to more – and more diverse – young people, is important to The National Lottery Heritage Fund. That’s why we set up Kick the Dust, a £10 million pilot programme to explore new ways of working with young people. We believe involving young people in heritage projects is vital – but it can be tricky. Here are some ideas.
In summer 2019, we held a workshop to gather the ideas learned so far from organisations that received funding.
Top tips on involving young people in heritage
- Organisations may find it useful to think about who makes decisions internally – and consider how young people can be involved in those decisions.
- Work out who in your organisation might be enthusiastic about your project and want to help.
- Think about how to create safe discussion spaces for young people.
- A trustee or CEO could meet and discuss ideas with the young people at their meetings, rather than the young person having to attend a trustee meeting – which could be intimidating.
- Consider having training for staff, and CEO briefings run by young people about young people.
- Young people need different routes of progression within your organisation.
- Young people can inform adults too; it’s a two-way relationship.
- Think about time commitments: young people have complex and busy lives and may not want to be involved all the time – or at all.
- Don’t impose your own agenda, stay flexible and exploratory.
- Question your assumptions and the language you use.
- Evaluate internal structures. For example, if you want to involve young people in a board meeting, holding it at 2pm might not be the best time if they have school, college or work.
- Consider leadership and life skills guidance for young people as part of the project.
Learning from case studies: Every project that attended the workshop brought along an object that represented an activity or method they have successfully used to engage young people. To read more about the projects go to the following link: