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Sir Roger Gale MP urges local youth groups to apply for Lottery funding

March 21st 2012

Yesterday, North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale met inspiring groups of young people at a special event at the Houses of Parliament to mark the 10th anniversary of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) Young Roots programme (image attached).  
The groups represented over 1,250 Young Roots projects, benefiting more than 65,000 young people from across the UK, that have benefited from Lottery funding since 2002.   This event provided the young people with the opportunity to showcase their projects to a selection of MPs.   

MP for North Thanet, Sir Roger Gale, said:
“It has been wonderful to meet these inspiring young people.  We have a rich and diverse heritage and it is fantastic to see young people engaging creatively with their local communities.  HLF’s Young Roots programme is providing important opportunities for young people across the whole of the UK to learn about and enjoy our varied and exciting heritage and I hope that more local groups from our North Thanet area will be inspired to apply to HLF for funding for similar projects.”

Dame Jenny Abramsky Fund, Chair of HLF, said:
“Over the last 10 years we have seen some great projects come out of the HLF Young Roots programme - led by passionate young people who have been exploring their heritage in new ways while developing skills and confidence. As the future custodians of our heritage, it’s vital that we inspire and equip young people with the resources they need to get involved with heritage in future.”
Since 2002, Young Roots has invested nearly £27million into young people-led projects exploring a wide range of topics: from social history and the built and natural environment to archaeology and even the heritage of sport, disability, fashion and culture. 
From 1 April 2012, HLF will increase the funding available for its Young Roots programme by £1million, tacking the annual budget to £4million.  In addition, it is doubling the grant threshold to £50,000, providing organisations with greater capacity and the confidence to develop innovative and high quality projects with paid youth work staff.  The length of projects has also been extended to two years, making it easier for groups to incorporate time for project development and evaluation.
Young Roots projects can offer a wide range of benefits, including: 

  • Encouraging partnerships between heritage and youth organisations. Anyone can apply, from youth groups and community arts groups to museums and environmental organisations;

  • Creating more opportunities for young people to explore and define their heritage in fun and inspiring ways, for example, compiling radio broadcasts; making films; putting on performances; curating exhibitions; and producing publications;

  • Encouraging intergenerational work, helping to bring young and old together to share stories and experiences;

  • Supporting young people to lead projects, helping to build self-esteem, confidence and a connection with their local community;

  • Creating opportunities for young people from all backgrounds to develop skills, both heritage skills such as conservation or archival research and softer, more generic skills linked to IT, team building or public speaking.

Jenny Abramsky added that HLF is keen to hear from local groups who are interested in applying for funding:

"Young people can offer a fresh and imaginative approach to local heritage projects, picking up CV-enhancing skills and experience along the way. We want to hear from heritage and youth workers and young people themselves to discuss the type of projects we can support.”

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