Do you need help with your young people statement?

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Hi everyone,

This discussion is to help all those who need to produce a young people statement. Young Roots encourages a youth-led approach. This is why we ask for a statement as part of your application that is created by the young people involved. Young people statements can be in any format and could include: handwritten or digital text, video, audio clips, photographs or artwork. All we ask is that they communicate the involvement of young people. It’s not often that you have the chance to create something in any format you like, so have some fun with it!

In this thread I’ll be posting some examples of young people statements that have been submitted in the past. These are for you to get a taste for what they are and to spark some ideas for your own. If you already have a Young Roots grant, we’d love for you to share the statement you submitted as part of your application here, and to give any advice you have from producing it.

If you have any questions about young people statements do post them here and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Thanks very much!

View Dickon Moore's profile Dickon Moore Jan 6 2015 - 5:10pm
  1. Here's an example of a young people statement that was submitted as part of the ‘There’s no future without the past’ project in Kirklees, Yorkshire. Their statement consisted of six Russian/Polish dolls created by young people involved in the project. Each doll had been painted with text explaining why young people wanted to be involved and why they thought heritage was important. See the image of the dolls along with a copy of the text below.

    Why do you think this approach worked well?

    Have you considered creating an object as part of your young people statement?

    Take a look and add your thoughts below.




  2. View Dickon Moore's profile Dickon Moore
    Offline | Last seen: 3 years 11 months ago
  3. Here is an example of the Young People's Statement that accompanied our Tracing the Tees project, in Teesside. Young people worked with a member of our staff and produced a poem which showed what they hoped they would learn from the project.

    They had wanted to film a kind of spoken word/rap of the poem, but logistics meant it wasn't possible.


    My adivce would be leave plenty of time when collating / producing the information. We scheduled a short morning session to produce the statement, and in reality young people would  have liked more time to produce something more creative.


    What I would like some further information on is how to present a statement that is not really that creative - where young people just want to jot their ideas down on a flipchart sheet. Is it frowned upon by HLF when it is simply a word document essentially listing their thoughts and their ideas?


  4. View Amy Cervantes's profile Amy Cervantes
    Offline | Last seen: 7 months 6 hours ago
  5. Hi Amy,

    I love the Teesside ditty - thanks for sharing. I hope the young people got to see some bats!  To answer your question, the purpose of the 'statement' is simply to demonstrate that in this youth-led programme, at least some of the young people you're working with have helped shape the application and are committed to the ideas in the project proposal. We suggest that statements might be presented creatively because this can often be a fun way of engaging young people who are new to project planning. We don't want to make the process too bureacratic, however, and appreciate different methods work with different groups. If your group want to use flip charts to record their thinking, you might consider photographing or filming them doing it and submitting a series of images files, including of the finished flipcharts, with your application?


  6. View Jo Reilly's profile Jo Reilly
    Offline | Last seen: 3 days 5 hours ago
  7. Hi all,

    I agree that young people statements could be anything from text on paper to the most inventive response they can think of! I suppose the point is for the young people involved to take the lead and decide which format they prefer.

    If your challenge is involving young people in the first place, there's a great HLF guide called 'How to involve young people in heritage projects', available on the Young Roots page.



  8. View Dickon Moore's profile Dickon Moore
    Offline | Last seen: 3 years 11 months ago
  9. Hi all,

    Weighing in on this one to share some of what worked for us in my old role at Orleans House Gallery. I'll let the current team there share their most recent Young Roots project, but I've had a look back at our Heritage Highways project to remind myself how we went about evidencing the young people's involvement in planning.

    A bit of context - Orleans House has a long track record of working with young people and was part of the local authority Education, Children’s and Cultural Services department, so working in partnership on projects for and with young people was already part of what we did. We were fortunate that this meant we were able to have some really productive conversations with young people as the project took shape.

    Our Young Roots project emerged out of a few different strands of activity, particularly work which had taken place as part of Stories of the World, our Cultural Olympiad project. We talked to young people already involved in the life of the gallery to find out what they would like to do next and what role they saw the gallery playing in helping them in their next steps.

    To evidence this process, we asked a few of the participants to explain in their own words why they wanted to get involved in the project and what they wanted to get out of it. I've attached the 3 examples we sent to HLF - you can see the young people's statements were typed and then they signed them. As I remember, 2 of the YP typed their own and the 3rd dictated to us. They are all pretty short and sweet.

    As you'll see, they all came at it from different angles reflecting their current levels of engagement with the gallery - one had primarily taken part in creative holiday activities, one had completed a work placement having previously attended our young parent's group, and one was undertaking a level 2 apprenticeship. The statements are personal in nature and don't attempt to address or explain the need for the project holistically, but rather focus on the aspect most relevant to each individual.

    I remember it being a really helpful process to crystalise for me, as well as for the young people, what they wanted and needed out of the project. I am pleased to report that Ryan did get to work with Ross again (and they created one of the funniest pieces of digital interpretation I have ever seen), and Chris went on to mentor Heritage Highways participants while working towards his own level 3 apprenticeship. In fact, he is still at Orleans, now in a permanent role, and is helping to support their current Skills for the Future apprentices. Looking back at his statement still puts a smile on my face.


    • Personal statement from current creative apprentice explaining what he hopes to get out of the project, including his aspiration to mentor future participants
    • Personal statement from a young person reflecting on what she has gained from taking part in a work placement at the gallery, and what she would like to get out of her future engagement
    • Personal statement from a young person engaged in holiday activities, reflecting on how he would like to develop previous work as part of reinterpreting the collection.
  10. View Miranda Stearn's profile Miranda Stearn
    Offline | Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
  11. Hi all,

    Miranda, great examples of young people getting involved!

    Just to throw another idea out there…

    Below are two projects that used film as their young people statements. Have a watch and add your thoughts to the conversation.

    - Uncovering Battersea’s Industrial Past, Lambeth. See their film here.

    - Centenary Sail, Yorkshire. See their film here.

    Have you thought about using film as part of your young people statement?



  12. View Dickon Moore's profile Dickon Moore
    Offline | Last seen: 3 years 11 months ago
  13. Following on from Miranda's examples, young people statement need not be high-tech or complicated. Here are a few more examples of statements that use simple effective techniques to demonstrate the involvement of young people:

    - The Project 50 team decided to provide images of young people holding up handwritten notes of support as their young people statement. The notes answered questions such as 'how would you like to be involved in this project?' and 'what would you like the project to achieve?'.

    - The In their Footsteps project group submitted a copy of the minutes of a planning meeting between the young people involved.

    - Members of the Worthing Youth Council involved in the Worthing Pier: Past, Present and Future project submitted messages of support for the project. Each member wrote about half a page indicating why they wanted the project to take place and the outcomes they wanted. Their pride in the town really comes through from the messages!

    Feel free to share your thoughts or discuss ideas for your own young people statements below.



  14. View Dickon Moore's profile Dickon Moore
    Offline | Last seen: 3 years 11 months ago
  15. Hi all, 

    Here is a bit more information on how the young people's statement worked for our most recently completed Young Roots project at Orleans House Gallery, In their Footsteps: Richmond's First World War. 

    Their Footsteps Young Roots project was led by members of the gallery’s weekly art forum, a group of young people many of whom are in foster care. They have long-term engagement with the gallery and many have been working through different levels of Arts Award. 

    We approached them to see whether they would be interested in helping co-ordinate the gallery’s main First World War centenary event for 2014, an exhibition in the main gallery space, and asked them to help us plan how to involve more of their peers, friends and families (particularly other children looked after in Richmond). 

    We held a planning workshop during one of their weekly sessions (lasting about 2 hours). The young people shared with us what they already knew about the First World War, discussed how they felt about the relevance of commemoration to their own lives, thought about what areas they might like to find out more about, and debated approaches to presenting the heritage. 

    They showed us content and approaches they found engaging, for example the Horrible Histories videos and websites including war poetry. They also discussed how they might create their exhibition. As part of the planning session they created a collaborative artwork capturing some of the things they were most keen to find out about: the munitions and aircraft industry, the impact of the war on women's lives, and the story of the poppy as a symbol of commemoration. They hope to use this artwork as a discussion prompt with other groups.

    To evidence the discussion, we typed up the notes we made on flipcharts during the discussion, and got the young people to sign it as an official record. We also submitted photos of their collaborative collage and of some of the flip charts.

    See attached the signed notes from our Young People. 




    Youth Programmes Coordinator 

    Orleans House Gallery 


  16. View Kate Kennedy's profile Kate Kennedy
    Offline | Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
  17. There is no such thing as a typical young roots statement. It can be adapted so no matter what the ability of the group young people can have a say in deciding what they would like to do. A great toolkit to support young people with multiple disabilities to make choices about future activities is provided by Mencap

  18. View Elise Turner's profile Elise Turner
    Offline | Last seen: 11 hours 43 min ago
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