London Voices

Children taking part in arts and crafts session

Making a difference

How the project achieved HLF’s outcomes for heritage

  • New aspects of the properties’ heritage were identified, researched and recorded. Working with families revealed international connections and local stories.
  • The properties were better interpreted and explained through new interactive approaches. These were specifically designed with families to help other families make sense of the heritage.

How the project achieved HLF’s outcomes for people

  • Staff and volunteers developed engagement skills to work with children and families, as well as research skills. Families gained creative and communications skills.
  • Families learnt about the properties through creative projects. Pupils and teachers also learnt about local heritage from outreach activities in schools.
  • Families had an enjoyable experience discovering their local heritage sites and sharing their discoveries with others.
  • 218 people volunteered as part of the project.
  • Staff changed their attitudes towards working with families: “London Voices has taught us that there is no such thing as a difficult audience.” National Trust Thames and Solent Region Marketing and Supporter Development Manager

How the project achieved HLF’s outcomes for communities

  • More people and a wider range of people engaged with the heritage of the properties. Over 14,000 visits were made to London Voices events and activities.
  • 77 of the volunteers were new to the National Trust. Younger volunteers and volunteers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities were recruited from local colleges.
  • Families who had never visited their local NT property before reported an increased sense of connection with the property and with their local community: “The families have taken ownership, across the cultural divide. It surprised me, I'm converted.” House Steward, Osterley

Lessons learnt

The partnerships needed care and maintenance. Partnerships are only genuine when there is a shared interest and all parties benefit. Outreach work in schools strengthened the role of the properties in the local communities. Working with small groups of families over an extended period of time provided a rich source of learning for the properties. This learning was then used to benefit all visitors. Inviting participants personally and ensuring they felt welcome was critical to the success of the project. Individuals in families who found formal education challenging learnt through the creative approaches offered.

 

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