Meet our committees: Sam Anderson
Why did you want to join an HLF committee?
I was looking for board experience. My organisation, The Junction, had previously been involved in some work with young people around heritage skills in Leith. I saw firsthand how young people got involved and how much they had benefited from the experience – it was a big motivator in me applying to HLF four years later.
My background is not heritage, but I think I've brought something else to the table.
What do you like about it?
I love the variety of the projects – I never know what’s going to pop up. It's really widened my horizons in terms of hearing about what people are doing. I love that HLF doesn't define heritage for people - it's fascinating to see how people identify it for themselves.
“I love that HLF doesn't define heritage for people - it's fascinating to see how people identify it for themselves.”
What have you learned from the role so far?
I've been working in the sectors of young people or health for 30 years, and I was looking for something a bit different. Being on the committee has been a development opportunity in a different area for me.
The induction was also really good – I feel really invested in and I've learned a lot from the process.
What has most surprised or challenged you?
Making really difficult decisions – trying to choose between projects.
Some projects can appear more risky than others but some things are worth risking. At HLF, it's felt that sometimes heritage projects which show real potential are just 'worth giving a chance' - that's so refreshing, especially in a time of austerity.
What would you say to anyone who is thinking about joining an HLF committee?
I’d encourage them to speak to someone on a committee, speak to a human, ask any questions. They should look at what the role consists of and what they can contribute. They need to be passionate about heritage and work out what it means to them.
What is your favourite HLF-supported project?
Maybe the first one I worked on – The History of Women's Aid in Scotland. It was capturing stories - more of an oral history project, not a traditional heritage project.
We also had a committee visit to Govan. We spent the day exploring the area, and were able to see the wide-ranging and positive impact that HLF, with the help of local folk, can have in delivering a range of local projects.