Heritage Soapbox

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This #WorldHeritageDay, we’re celebrating what young people offer to heritage, and vice versa.

As part of that, we’d like to tell you about Heritage Soapbox – an event that the #Dustkickers, our young Heritage Ambassadors, organised at Hoxton Hall on Tuesday 4 April.

Working alongside fab creative producer Chloe Osborne and the HLF Participation and Learning team, the brilliant Dustkickers took over over the magnificent, mysterious Hoxton Hall in East London, bringing young people and heritage/youth professionals together to share and celebrate the how heritage can support young people to flourish, and the many ways that organisations and practitioners benefit from collaborating with young audiences. Our themes are participation, training and early career employment.

We've a video to share imminently, and there's also a link to the HLF blog about the event, below; and our Dustkickers (and I hope some of the participants!) will also share their reflections from the day.


View John McMahon's profile John McMahon Apr 18 2018 - 3:56pm
  1. …And here's the aforementioned blog:

    This month, HLF’s Heritage Ambassadors, or #Dustkickers, organised an event to explore how young people can better influence and participate in heritage… [continue reading via link]


  2. View John McMahon's profile John McMahon
    Offline | Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
  3. …And here's the video…!



  4. View John McMahon's profile John McMahon
    Offline | Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
  5. For me, it was really exciting to see the event come together on the day, after several months of planning discussions and lots of hard work behind the scenes from the team to realise our very ambitious programme on a tight timetable!

    We first began planning the event at the end of last year at Kensington Palace where we had the opportunity to sit down as a group and think about the kind of things we wanted to see, hear and do at the event. From the start it became clear that it was important to all of us that everyone was able to engage at a range of levels and in a way that felt comfortable for them and so we looked to design dynamic activities which would ensure that our event was not your typical conference!

    We wanted to challenge delegates (and the wider sector!) to think more about the relationships that young people have with heritage, and most of all we wanted to create discussions and open new dialogues at the event by ensuring that everyone had the opportunity to share their voice and views.

    To do this we created several activities that asked for a response from people, either by standing up and speaking out loud on our specially commissioned soapbox, or by writing or drawing responses to a series of questions on oversized tablecloths. The themes we particularly wanted to discuss at the event were participation, training and early career development and we crafted a series of provocations based on ideas generated by the whole group that delegates could respond to throughout the day. These were:

    1. Valuing young people means creating meaningful and accessible opportunities. How can we make it happen?
    2. How can we make sure that a wider range of young people are able to access opportunities – not just the usual suspects?
    3. 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?

    Alongside these provocations we created a series of questions for our ‘World Café’ session which we used to explore and discuss a couple of issues in more depth. The great thing about using this technique meant that the ideas and thoughts that were shared on the day haven’t been lost and we can reflect and look back at these.

    After all the planning and meetings, the day itself seemed to pass by in a blur and I was exhausted afterwards but looking back at the pictures and videos it was wonderful to be involved and I’m so pleased that all the hard work paid off! 


    • Writing responses to the world cafe questions
    • Making plans for the event
  6. View Eleanor Styles's profile Eleanor Styles
    Offline | Last seen: 6 months 1 day ago
  7. Thanks Eleanor!  I remember the World Cafe idea came from you in the planning session and the event was all the better for it.

    I was really touched that our partner, Hoxton Hall, asked for a write up of the event for their website and I thought I'd share that here too: 


    They are a hub for youth work in Hackney, east London, and readers might want to see what else they're up to.

  8. View Jo Reilly's profile Jo Reilly
    Offline | Last seen: 2 weeks 6 days ago
  9. I had no idea what was planned for the day but I definitely came away knowing I needed to share more about the #Dustkickers and #HeritageSoapbox (and I was pretty busy on twitter on the day). It was also great to meet up with former #SkillsfortheFuture trainees and hear how their first experience of the heritage sector was shaping their careers. You can find out more about Drew Ellery’s experience in this blog - Drew is a former Skills for the Future trainee at Archives+ and currently Digital Officer at the Coming In from the Cold project.

  10. View Emma Stagg's profile Emma Stagg
    Offline | Last seen: 14 hours 50 min ago
  11. Having been involved as part of the sub-group for this event also, I think the collective efforts to have put this together back when we were first presented with the brief in September last year has been brilliant! 

    I think, having been quite vocal about this myself, accessibility was an important factor in our discussions when thinking about the needs of individuals and it was the first event which wasn't especially for autistic people we had colour coded stickers as to delegates communication preferences.  

    Am very grateful to have had my own stamp on HLF's Twitter that day and to have my friend Jasmine attend also, who played an active part during the day's agenda and was much more enthused about heritage generally by the end of it. 

    The day was fairly intense and was on my feet for much of the time, but I think we did something that made a positive impression for all who were there that day! 


  12. View Jack Welch's profile Jack Welch
    Offline | Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
  13. I was so so proud to be a small part of organising this event, and thought it reflected the #Dustkickers work brilliantly. The provocations and world café questions were just what we needed to get delegates - and the sector at large - thinking about young people and heritage. We now have so much info we can use - written down, filmed, drawn, everything - that will ensure the legacy of the event will continue and be strong. A brilliant event all round.

  14. View Elizabeth Guntrip's profile Elizabeth Guntrip
    Offline | Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
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