Our Kingsley Hall Heritage Project is made possible with The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players, we are now able to develop our plans to bring Kingsley Hall, our Grade 2* listed building in Bristol’s Old Market conservation area, into sustainable, long term beneficial use as a safe and welcoming place, where young homeless people can overcome isolation, develop skills and rebuild their lives.

We have launched a campaign to raise the additional funding and pro-bono support we need to develop our plans and make this project a reality.

The project will create:

• great spaces for young people to meet and receive training

• a skills kitchen

• a social enterprise

• housing for young people who have been homeless

• high-quality office space for 1625ip colleagues

There will be a huge range of opportunities for employment and training for young people, including a programme of Heritage Engagement and Learning activities. We have consulted 352 homeless and care experienced young people over 7 years to ensure that the project is being developed to meet their needs and aspirations.

We have also been working closely with the We are Bristol History Commission, University of Bristol, City of Bristol College, Bristol Civic Society and many other partners to develop our plans so that young people can benefit from a diverse range of opportunities to explore the heritage of the building and the city.

Reimagining Kingsley Hall

The project uses heritage as a platform to transform young people’s lives by developing their skills, building relationships and enabling young homeless people to develop their sense of identity and belonging. The project will harness young people’s immense empathy, talent and skills to achieve positive change in their lives and the community.

Why is it important?

This space is of huge importance and we are exploring the following topics as part of this project

If you would like to hear more about this project:

How we’re using our consultations

The project will provide opportunities for young people to share their learning, talents and skills.  As trainers and advisers to heritage organisations wanting to increase participation of young people; as peer educators on heritage in Bristol’s schools; and as “youth guides” offering tours of the building, local conservation area and the city’s heritage sites from their perspective.

Our consultations have highlighted that it’s critical that homeless young people are supported in sensitive and psychologically informed ways as they engage in heritage, recognising many have experienced trauma, disrupted family life and a disrupted education. Building trust, putting young people at the centre and walking alongside young people is a vital underpinning requirement if heritage projects are to effectively engage the most disadvantaged young people.

Young people will participate in every aspect of the project – including design, partnership development, market appraisal, financial appraisal, communications, activity planning, delivery of heritage activities, evaluation and of course training and employment linked to the refurbishment and fit out works.

This will include decision-making at every level including deciding on what heritage activities are undertaken; overseeing the activities budget with the Activities Co-ordinator through the Youth Steering Group and making decisions with us on who we recruit through their participation on the recruitment panels. Young people’s participation will develop their agency, ownership, skills and awareness of their strengths and capabilities.

The impact of space on young people that need support

As a safe and welcoming place where the city’s most disadvantaged young people can overcome isolation, develop skills and rebuild their lives. It will be a springboard for young people to improve their lives and will provide opportunities for young people to share their learning, talents and skills.

Building trust, and putting young people at the centre and walking alongside young people is vital to effectively engage the most disadvantaged young people. The project will bring young people into purposeful interaction with businesses, community groups, heritage organisations, universities and colleges, broadening their horizons and strengthening their sense of belonging and identity.

It’s critical that homeless young people are supported in sensitive and psychologically informed ways, many have experienced trauma, disrupted family life and a disrupted education.

What do young people think about the re-developmnent of Kingsley Hall?

‘I didn't actually realize until speaking to 1625, a bit about the history of Kingsley Hall that it was actually used as a meeting place for the suffragettes, like 1625 …. and it's like a safe place for young people to go. Kingsley hall has been that historically and it's still being used for that same thing. I think it's really amazing that we've carried that on throughout history'
‘I love history, it's so important. When I talk about it, it brings me back to what it would be like back then. I don't know how to say but it can change and be a better place. The building [Kingsley Hall] has been there through so many things in history, through generations. All those people, people we don't even know, people that built it, it's crazy.’
‘It's good to be able to share what Bristol was and is now'

Impact on the community

The project brings one of Bristol’s most historic buildings into beneficial use for the city’s most vulnerable young people and the wider community. It is supported by a strong network of local organisations: universities, colleges, council departments, businesses, heritage organisations, youth charities and schools. With their support, we will create a thriving place where young people can develop skills, improve their wellbeing, access training and employment and build healthy relationships.

Why the project is critical

We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to refurbish Kingsley Hall for the benefit of homeless young people and care leavers at a time they are at greatest risk.

Covid-19 has intensified the disadvantages they face, including:

• increased isolation and loneliness

• increased family breakdown, domestic violence, sexual and criminal exploitation

• increased unemployment and job insecurity through casual and temporary contracts.

The project brings one of Bristol’s most historic buildings into beneficial use for the city’s most vulnerable young people and the wider community. It is supported by a strong network of local organisations: council departments, businesses, universities, colleges, heritage organisations, youth charities and schools. With their support, we will create a thriving place where young people can develop skills, improve their wellbeing, access training and employment and build healthy relationships.

Our consultations have highlighted that it’s critical that homeless young people are supported in sensitive and psychologically informed ways as they engage in heritage, recognising many have experienced trauma, disrupted family life and disrupted education. Building trust, putting young people at the centre and walking alongside young people is a vital underpinning requirements if heritage projects are to effectively engage the most disadvantaged young people.

 

Useful Links

Old Market Heritage Trail

Kingsley Hall Wikipedia Page

British Listed Buildings

About Bristol