An innovative partnership between Rathbone Training, Ambition, the British Council, Culture and Sport Glasgow, and Manchester Museums and Galleries Group has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Our Shared Cultural Heritage project, it was announced today.
The project aims to identify new ways of engaging with young people from South Asia and the communities they live in by exploring the shared cultural heritage between the UK and the country their family come from – primarily India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
The cultural heritage explored through the project will include cultural traditions such as stories, crafts, dance, South Asian objects in museums and galleries and the histories of places and events.
The project will investigate how we can use cultural heritage to improve young people’s understanding of other cultures, create new engagement opportunities for young people with heritage, and build dialogue and social cohesion. The project will take place in Glasgow and Manchester, with learning shared across the UK.
Development funding of £176, 300 has also been awarded to help Rathbone Training, Ambition and the project partners to progress their plans to apply for a full grant at a later date. In total £868,600 of National Lottery funding has been earmarked to the project through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s pioneering new Kick the Dust programme.
Kick the Dust is a pioneering new funding programme distributing £10 million from the National Lottery to heritage and youth organisations across the UK. At its core is a group of young Heritage Ambassadors who are on a mission to ‘stir up heritage’, and have helped advise on how the money should be allocated.
Cultural heritage provides an important framework to explore other cultures and create a dialogue between communities. Connections between the UK and South Asia have a rich cultural, political and economic history. Today, nearly four million British people can trace their heritage to the region.
Our Shared Cultural Heritage provides an opportunity for young people to explore and shape the dialogue around identity, belonging and place. Rathbone Training is a youth charity founded over 100 years ago by passionate social reformer Elfrida Rathbone, who believed that every young person should have the opportunity to learn.
Kirsty Beeston, Informal Education Manager for Rathbone Training, said: "We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. For over a century our charity has looked to continue the legacy created by Elfrida Rathbone of supporting young people from all backgrounds to fulfil their potential and this fantastic project will help us and our partners to continue this extremely important work."
The project will forge new partnerships between the youth and heritage sectors across the UK. In particular, Rathbone will work closely with Ambition, the largest representative body for the youth sector. Emma Revie, CEO of Ambition, commented:
"We are delighted to be involved in this fantastic project that brings together the youth and heritage sectors. All young people should have the opportunity to explore their own and other people’s cultural identity and have a space to dialogue between communities, solving problems together. We are excited that this project will draw on the extensive experience our members have in supporting youth-led activities and will provide opportunities to share our learning across our whole network, enabling the youth sector to improve how they delivery youth led initiatives focused on heritage in the future."