Stories Stones and Bones - lessons learned and developing partnerships

Stories, Stones and Bones was a dedicated programme created to help communities participate in Scotland's Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology with a focus on engaging new audiences. £850,000 was awarded to 98 projects across Scotland exploring all kinds of heritage. The programme aimed to get new audiences involved with heritage through new applicants and a broader range of people engaged. This included both increasing diversity and tackling inclusion, as well as encouraging applications from organisations for the first time.

In February 2018 we held to evaluation focused events to discuss the successes and challenges of getting new audiences engaging with heritage. They were a great opportunity to meet new organisations and hear about the fantastic projects happening right across Scotland. There were also some emerging themes from the discussions on the days:


  • Tailoring activities for specific audiences, in particular providing something hand’s on and interactive.
  • Hospitality, food and drink to make people feel comfortable and welcome
  • Giving something back, thinking about what participants or volunteers will get out of the experience


  • Time! – This was overwhelmingly the biggest struggle for organisations.
  • Resources – ensuring that there is enough money and volunteer or staff time to deliver an ambitious programme of activity
  • Flexibility – adapting projects and overcoming difficulties that arise from staff absences, hectic schedules and bad weather.

You should use this online community to continue your discussions, pose questions, reflect on your continuing work on the project and make connections with each other.

Please could you quickly introduce yourself again and tell us what three key things have you or your team learnt during the course of the project?


  • Stories Stones and Bones programme image
View Anna James's profile Anna James Mar 22 2018 - 11:47am
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