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Heritage Lottery Fund’s Heritage Soapbox Event

April 18, 2018

A look back at the Heritage Lottery Fund’s ‘Heritage Soapbox’  Event.

By Jo Reilly and The Dust Kicker Team, Heritage Lottery Fund

On 3 April Hoxton Hall hosted a vibrant and colourful event organised by the Heritage Lottery Fund’s youth ambassadors.

Known as “the Dust Kickers” (after our involvement in the National Lottery-supported ‘Kick the Dust’ grants programme which funded youth-focused heritage projects), we programmed the event to take stand on the need for more participation and progression for young people in heritage organisations across the UK.

In our planning sessions, ‘Heritage Soapbox’ emerged as a title for the event. We extended the laundry theme by inviting delegates to respond to our speakers and our event provocations by hanging their ‘essentials’ on the washing lines strung around the venue.

So, it was a highly visual event and also a fully inclusive one. Accessibility, badges, communication styles, activities, toilets, food, health and faith needs were all carefully thought through. We provided a quiet room and it was important to us that people felt able to engage at whatever level they wanted. Our speakers and the 50 delegates represented a wide range of experience.

Throughout the day, participants from the heritage and youth sectors took to our specially-commissioned ‘soapbox’ to give their own views on our three challenges:

  • Valuing young people means creating meaningful and accessible opportunities. How can we make it happen?
  • How can we make sure that a wider range of young people are able to access opportunities – not just the usual suspects?
  • We need to bring young people in to help build the boat, not just row it! What does real ownership of heritage for young people look like?

We’ll be reflecting more on what we’ve learned over the coming weeks and we feel pleased with what we have achieved so far. One of our organising group said:

“I was so proud to be a part of it … From the range of delegates, the incredible speakers, the activities which meant we got so much from that room of inspiring people, it was just so impressive. The whole day had such a lovely, comfortable feel to it too.”

We commissioned a graphic facilitator to capture our debate and this image will give you a flavour of our rich afternoon session. Check us out on #DustKickers too.

Hoxton Hall was a great venue and we loved using the space. We’d like to thank all of the staff at Hoxton Hall who were brilliant to work with and who went out of their way to make our day a success.

The Dust Kicker team

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