£745,500 of National Lottery funding to major Norfolk Museums Service youth project

06 June 2018

Norfolk Museums Service has been awarded £745,500 through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) Kick the Dust programme.

This round 2 pass follows the award of a project development grant of £31,000 in 2017, taking the total funding from the HLF for the project to £776,500.

The money will go to the Norfolk Journeys project, which sees the museums service work in partnership with YMCA Norfolk, Creative Collisions - Great Yarmouth and Norfolk Library and Information Service.

Taking place at heritage sites across the county, including Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, Time & Tide Museum, Lynn Museum and Norwich Castle, the four-year project will work with nearly 8,000 11 to 25 year olds, giving them the opportunity to play a role in shaping their heritage.

Last year’s development phase for the Norfolk Journeys project partnered with youth-focussed organisations to engage a broad range of young people from across the county, including those who are traditionally the most hard to reach for museums.

Young people were directly involved in appointing the project consultants and contributed their opinions at steering group meetings. Informal activities were used to consult a very wide range of young people who already use museums, while those not currently engaging with museums or who have barriers to participation were contacted through an online survey and focus groups.

This consultation strongly indicated that young people have an enthusiasm for the opportunities afforded by this project including the proposed progression pathways.  Specialist consultants Claire Adler and Anna Salaman developed a radical new Activity Plan for Norfolk Journeys shaped by the work with these young people.  Today’s announcement gives the green light for these plans to be put into action.

The money has been awarded through HLF’s new Kick the Dust programme, a pioneering pilot grant programme distributing £10m from the National Lottery to youth and heritage organisations across the UK, to help these organisations better connect with young people.  At its core is a group of young Heritage Ambassadors, who are on a mission to ‘stir up heritage’, and have helped advise on how the money should be allocated.

Additional match funding has been contributed by Arts Council England, the Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, the Geoffrey Watling Charity and Norfolk County Council.

Norfolk Journeys will enable heritage organisations to develop a radical new approach to working with young people which allows for a personalised engagement with heritage.

Norfolk Museums Service is delighted to be working with key partners across the county to deliver this exciting new opportunity for young people. Robin Hanley, Assistant Head of Norfolk Museums Service said:  “By working with YMCA Norfolk, Creative Collisions and Norfolk Library Service – all of which have a strong track record of engaging the most vulnerable young people –Norfolk Museums Service will be able to open up new opportunities for young people in the county.

"Our ambition is to achieve sustained engagement with young people through the project, resulting in a meaningful, positive impact on their lives. Norfolk Journeys will also have a transformative impact on the Museums Service, challenging us to change the organisation’s culture in order to meet their aspirations.

"We are hugely excited about the project and very grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund, National Lottery players and all our funding partners for supporting the project.”

HLF’s Heritage Ambassadors played a major part in allocating the grants.  The 17 young people aged 16-25, recruited from across the UK to work with HLF on making heritage more inclusive for people of their age group, advised HLF’s decision panel on the projects they found to be most useful and appealing.

Hannah Keddie, Heritage Ambassador from East Anglia, said:  “It has been an amazing experience learning how grants are awarded, and helping HLF to allocate £10m to projects involving more young people in heritage.  I’m really pleased that Norfolk Journeys has won funding, as we found its plans to involve young people in museum work and provide them with archaeological experience especially appealing.  Making Norfolk's heritage easier to access and participate in for more people my age is really important to me and the other ambassadors, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the project progresses in the future.”

Speaking about the Norfolk Journeys project, Tim Sweeting, CEO of YMCA Norfolk said:  “It is wonderful that HLF is funding partnerships including youth organisations like YMCA in order to engage non-traditional groups, because we believe all young people deserve the opportunity to be inspired by heritage.”

Councillor John Ward, Chairman of Norfolk Joint Museums Committee, said:  “Norfolk Journeys allows young people to create their own individual journeys into active engagement with Norfolk’s heritage.  Specialist mentoring will help them achieve their potential.  Young participants will gain certified skills and training, enhanced employment opportunities and will get a chance to shape the direction of heritage organisations.”

Tricia Hall, Chairperson of Creative Collisions, said:  “We are delighted to be working with Norfolk Museums and YMCA on such an ambitious programme of Youth Engagement work.  We specialise in combined arts and heritage projects and Kick the Dust will provide so many new opportunities and progression routes for the young people taking part.”

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