Walking in Their Shoes a Heritage Lottery funded programme was an extremely successful example of a youth led project. A group of young people, including some with additional need, led the history project which created heritage Geocache walks in Dorset following in the shoes of a First World War Soldier and Anglo Saxon Monk.

In total a core group of 18 young people and 22 further volunteers carried out 1920 hours of volunteer work.

“I learnt how to complete a project with lots of people in a team, making the most of every ones skills. I think I developed skills through the project that I could easily use in a job including app development and project./time management”

The success of the project and hard work that the young people put in were recognised when Walking in Their Shoes achieved two awards;

British Youth Council ‘Inspiring Project Award’ – July 2014
‘Young Volunteer Group of the Year Award’ – Dorset Volunteer Centre

These awards from National and local bodies show that the work carried out by the young people has been highly commended for the quality of heritage research and interpretation. In the future when young people speak about their work with Walking in Their Shows project they can proudly mention the awards their hard work achieved.

Impact

Four young people progressed on to form a Young Freelance Heritage Team and have been commissioned to work on three large heritage projects. This is a significant achievement as the heritage sector can be a highly competitive field.

The project gave young people an opportunity to lead a media campaign which included;

A blog with over 50 posts and 6700 page views. This enabled young people to tell their own story of volunteering

A Twitter feed with 256 followers including important members within the heritage and community sectors, and national youth sector. Tweets and retweets by partners regularly reached up to 2,000 people demonstrating how far the project could reach within social media.

Leaflets were professionally published from youth led designs and distributed to local heritage partners and tourist offices, promoting and advertising the project

Over 10 articles were published in a local newspaper

The ITV Fixers project made a short film about the challenges young people have when accessing heritage volunteering. This was a huge achievement as it gave the young people an opportunity to vocalise their opinions and promote their project.

The contribution of the media campaign towards the project’s success was extremely significant. The young people demonstrated their understanding and creativity within social media and their passion for local heritage.