Changing lives: meet the Routes2Roots volunteers

Our film with Routes2Roots volunteers Rochaé, Jasmine, Aliyah and Zeddie
Young creative minds from Birmingham's HLF-supported Routes2Roots campaign reveal what heritage means to them - and how the project has inspired them.

Ten young people volunteered their time and passion in co-creator roles throughout the campaign, ranging from creative director to social media expert.

They worked together to plan and create exciting and inclusive events, alongside project partner Beatfreeks, to encourage young people to explore their heritage.

As the campaign draws to a close, we talk to two co-creators, Rochaé and Jasmine, about their time on the project.

Rochaé, 19

“I was always into music, always knocking things around at home,” says Rochaé who plays keyboard, guitar and Dhol - a double-headed drum. “I started performing at the poetry jam night at Beatfreeks and that’s how I first heard about Routes2Roots.”

Rochaé got involved as a co-creator and started running the social media for the campaign: “I think the key to getting more young people involved in heritage projects is to firstly get them to understand what heritage is, and that it’s not all about Henry VIII and what you learned in school.”

“We all started on the same journey, not really knowing too much about heritage. So we got to grow, support each other and learn together in our roles.”Rochaé

“Creativity is what drives Routes2Roots and I think we’ve really had a voice with this campaign and we’ve taken on big decisions - HLF gave us the opportunity to take the reins.”

“I think because of this I developed my professional side more, like learning how to present in meetings. I now also have a better understanding of the nitty-gritty of event planning and I’ve become a pro at social media.”

“It’s also been really good working together with other co-creators as we all started on the same journey, not really knowing too much about heritage. So we got to grow, support each other and learn together in our roles.”

During the campaign Rochaé secured a digital marketing apprenticeship with Beatfreeks and plans to go back to college to study a mentoring course to combine her passion for creative arts with therapy.

Jasmine, 18

Jasmine grew up in a house full of music with her parents' gospel and soul record collections influencing her musical taste from a young age. She’s always been interested in exploring more about her heritage and was intrigued when she heard about the campaign.

“I instantly felt like I was going to be a part of something when I entered the first meeting about Routes2Roots, so I signed up as a co-creator and was given the title of Creative Director – something I’d never done before.”

Jasmine quickly realised that she would have to speak up in her new role: “When decisions got to me I would say ‘you guys probably know more than me’, but they would say ‘no, we actually need you!’”

“I learned to speak up more and give my opinion because it actually mattered.”Jasmine

“So I learned to speak up more and give my opinion because it actually mattered. It’s not that it didn’t matter before, but just that people around me were naturally more decisive.”

Jasmine’s favourite part of the campaign was the heritage bus tours they designed: “We took it out of the classroom and brought it to the road, getting people involved in heritage and visiting projects and sights rather than looking at pictures on a presentation.”

Jasmine has applied to study Media and Communications at university and will use her new skills when she’s calling the shots in the film industry: “Having experience in the creative director role meant that I had new responsibilities. I hope to take these skills with me as they are really important: you won’t be heard otherwise.”


To find out more about the Routes2Roots campaign, visit the Beatfreeks website and follow the campaign on Twitter.

Find more stories

Share Rochaé, Jasmine and Aliyah's story with the hashtag #ChangingLives on Twitter. Let us know your life-changing story via our dedicated email address, we'd love to hear from you!

You can also read all our stories on our Changing lives Tumblr page.

Jasmine, a Routes2Roots co-creator
The volunteers get to work
Jasmine, Rochaé and Aliyah
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