Lottery funding will enable family engagement with heritage. Four National Trust properties in London have teamed up with schools in their areas to launch a major community project, 'London Voices'. This project aims to form lasting connections between the people of London and their local National Trust properties.
With a £410,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, 'London Voices' will run over three years, but will set the scene for permanent involvement with the local community across the National Trust. The four properties will each partner a school in their area that works with families and the local community. Arts and Heritage teams in local authorities will also participate in the project.
At Ham House, Osterley Park, Morden Hall Park and Sutton House a series of creative projects with local families will xplore their thoughts and feelings about these local treasures. The participants will work with artists at the Trust's properties to produce interactive displays, dramatic performances, poetry and art, to be showcased at the houses each spring and summer, beginning in 2007.
The ‘London Voices’ initiative builds on the unprecedented success of the ‘History Matters’ campaign launched in July this year, which included One Day in History, in which individuals, groups and organisations across the UK have been showing what heritage means to them.
Ian Wilson, Area Manager for the National Trust in London says: “All Londoners have the right to enjoy and celebrate their personal and local heritage. Through the ‘London Voices’ project, the National Trust will listen and engage with some of London’s diverse communities. This dialogue will influence the interpretation and understanding of the properties, better reflecting their place in a multi-cultural Britain.”
He continues: “London Voices' is just that - a way for everyone in the community to make themselves heard and become actively involved in their local heritage."
Sue Bowers, Heritage Lottery Fund Manager for London adds: “This is a great project that will encourage a host of families who may not usually visit heritage sites to explore the past on their doorstep in a creative, interactive way. Opening up these four key National Trust properties will enable everyone involved to dive into the history that has helped to shape the identity of their area.”