Leicestershire Cares has secured funding to deliver a heritage project investigating care experience young people’s memory, history and narrative. The Taking Hold Our Heritage project is funded through the Y Heritage project, Leicester, which is part of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s pioneering “Kick the Dust” funding programme.
The aim of the project will empower care experienced young people to discover, create and promote positive cultural histories and artefacts about care experienced life, while developing a range of employable skills. These artefacts will then form part of a touring exhibition that will be hosted in foster homes and hostels, culminating in a larger exhibition during Care Leavers week in October 2020.
Care leavers are said to be more likely to experience limited life chances (BBC 2017), resulting in a perception of negative personal histories. This heritage project will work with young people to investigate the complex nature of the identity of care leavers, producing an archive of artefacts including oral histories, photography and photovoice. The young people will investigate the memories and experiences of Leicestershire’s leaving care community, by looking at themselves, but also visiting and interviewing and documenting care experience young people. This project may well include collecting stories from older care experienced people.
Casey, a care-experienced young person, writes:
“Leicestershire Cares worked closely with care experience young people in developing the funding bid and took one of our young people to pitch our idea to a selection panel of young people from the Y Heritage.
This project helps give hope and helps care experience young people to feel better and more confident about their experiences. This will help to promote positive thinking in other care experience people of all ages. It provokes us to think about our own positive experiences when watching. All the time, it is the negatives spoken about: ‘my social worker did this wrong’ ‘the system failed me here’. Why aren’t we taking a second to look at the good it did for us? It wasn’t all negative and this project allows all care experience people to stop and look at how it did help for once in our lives. In therapies, people are always told to look at and list the positives all the time. We don’t do that as care experience people and we are never encouraged to do so.
I do a lot of advocacy for looked after children and care experience young people, all anyone ever speaks about is the negatives! This is so unhealthy! It’s time to start turning these things around. Everything has to start somewhere. We deserve to have our own heritage when our own biological families are often lost. Our stories are important and deserve to be heard. Let us be heard, let us raise awareness and let us have our heritage.”
The project will start in January 2020, with the exhibition in October 2020.
If you are interested in finding out more about our Taking Back Our Heritage project, please contact:
T: 0116 464 5215, M: 07738 403 732
The Y has been awarded £707,500 through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s pioneering “Kick the Dust” funding programme. This will fund our project “Y Heritage”, which will be a collaboration between The Y, key civic partners such as our universities and local authorities, and the city and county’s wide and brilliant variety of heritage, cultural and creative organisations. The money will be used to better engage young people with heritage across both city and county.
Y Heritage will run a series of “Dragons Den” style pitches over three years where Leicester/Leicestershire based organisations can apply for funding up to £30,000 from a panel of young people. The young people all engage in some way with The Y. The organisations must build opportunities for work or training into their project funding application. Our aim is that our young people and the heritage projects develop and thrive together – it really is a win win opportunity!
With thanks to National Lottery Players for their support, without them projects such as Y Heritage could not happen.