Unloved Heritage – No Longer Unloved!
We are celebrating three years of exploring, learning, fun and friendships as the ‘Unloved Heritage?’ project comes to its end.
Earlier this month, emotions ran high as we prepared to say goodbye, not only to our friends on the Ceredigion Unloved Heritage Youth Panel (CHYPs) and Project Officer, Kim James-Williams, but we were also treated to an early viewing of a series of short films created in celebration of a successful and treasured project.
‘Ceredigion Off-limits?’, is one of seven regional projects funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund which form part of the larger Cadw-led ‘Unloved Heritage?’ project. Led by young people with the support of heritage organisations across Wales, these projects set out to ignite enthusiasm for heritage in their young patrons.
Several short films have been created to celebrate the challenges, successes, and topics explored during the Unloved Heritage? project.
With so much ground to cover and memories to document, the films created have focused on important elements in each project, highlighting the wonderful and unexpected results of working with interesting, unique, and bright personalities.
The CHYPs have experienced a lot these past three years. From archaeological excavations, exploring underground tunnels, traipsing around Northern Ireland, and although latterly unable to leave home because of Lockdown, they have maintained their unwavering passion and admirable enthusiasm, even in these most difficult times. Despite the restrictions, changes, and losses, they have not only endured but evolved. They are confident, inquisitive, empathetic young people who have been a pleasure to work with and have taught us so much.
We were extremely sad to tragically lose our original Project Officer, Anna Evans, mid-way through the project’s second year. Her unique spirit and warmth are what first drew the CHYPs together and have echoed throughout the project in everything they have accomplished. We are pleased to have continued Anna’s work, and her dream of giving young people opportunities in a sector, which often seemed remote to them.
Thanks to Kim James-Williams, who quickly settled in and became a valued advisor and great friend to all the CHYPs and helped guide the project to a satisfying close in the form of their very own publication, ‘The Story of a House on a Hill’. This is now available as a free ebook to download from our website. Also thank you to the staff at the Commission who lent their expertise, knowledge, and passion for heritage and hopefully inspired some to consider a future in heritage they may never have imagined.
Finally, thank you to our CHYPs, who have taught us so much. Christopher Catling, Secretary and Chief Executive at the Royal Commission said, “it has been a joy to have you among us and under your influence we have changed as an organisation”. We hope they have enjoyed themselves as much as we have, and we are looking forward to working alongside them in the future, investigating, researching and most importantly, exploring.
To see all the project videos, go to the Unloved Heritage YouTube channel.
By Marisa Morgan