MOLA's Built Heritage Youth Engagement participants and mentors on board the Time Truck (c) MOLA

Our Built Heritage Youth Engagement Programme launches in Haringey

Paul McGarrity
11.08.2017

We recently launched our Built Heritage Youth Engagement Programme which aims to reach out to disadvantaged young people in three London boroughs. At the end of our first session, Built Heritage specialist and course coordinator, Paul McGarrity looks back on a busy couple of weeks.

We began the first of our Built Heritage Youth Engagement Programme sessions in Haringey. Part of our continued commitment as an archaeological charity is to engage with young people who may not have easy access to heritage programmes. So, by working in partnership with Haringey Council Youth Justice Service, we were able to offer 10 young people the chance to participate in a two week programme of tours, talks, workshops, site visits and skills sessions designed to offer an informative insight into the heritage sector and equip them with the skills they need to kick-start their careers.

For the Haringey sessions, we worked with Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and took the students on visits to some of their historic buildings including Percy house and 810 on the High Road in Tottenham; a pair of Georgian terraced houses. The buildings are currently being renovated and will eventually house the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation and other local businesses. So, our students were invited in to these historic buildings (which are not usually open to the public) to study their unique interiors, discover the exciting things being uncovered during renovation and learn how to record them with MOLA’s Built Heritage team.

These trips provided a brilliant opportunity to teach the participants new skills, such as photography, presenting to an audience, research skills, and critical thinking, whilst simultaneously helping them to understand and engage with their local heritage. Over the two week period the students took part in several classroom-based activities, a tour of the MOLA offices and visits to other historic properties such as Sutton House in Hackney. At the end of the two weeks, the group presented the work they had produced to the public on board MOLA’s very own Time Truck at the Bernie Grant Arts and Dance Festival.

During the programme the students were also working towards achieving a Bronze Arts Award; a recognised qualification and a tangible reward for the amazing amount of work and effort that they put in which they can proudly add to their CVs.

The first phase of delivery proved to be useful not only for the participants, but also for those of us who were lucky enough to have been teaching it. The development and progress of the students over a short space of time was incredible to see. With the second group starting in a couple of weeks in Tower Hamlets and then Islington, we are already preparing to do it all again and hopefully, with a few lessons learned from our first programme, we will be able to deliver two more inspiring and informative courses.

We'd like to thank the North Tottenham Townscape InitiativeTottenham Hotspur Foundation, the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Medlock Trust and Headley Trust for their support of the Built Heritage Youth Engagement Programme. If you would like to find out more about how you can support MOLA’s Built Heritage Youth Engagement Programme, or any of our other Research and Engagement Projects, then please get is touch at support@mola.org.uk.

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