Personal Interest in Heritage


Through an iterative process, the consultation has worked with young people,
to establish their interests in heritage and how these interests can be themed or grouped so they can underpin planning for some of the Heritage Project activities. These events put young people in the lead, with Board Members and colleagues in attendance, listening to young people’s ideas and priorities to shape strategy, projects and improvements.


1625ip spoke to a diverse mix of young people. Including people with different ethnic backgrounds, different genders and gender identities, young people with disabilities, young parents, young refugees and asylum seekers, young people spanning the geographical areas they span as an organisation, young people at different points in their journey (e.g. new to service, exiting service, alumni) and young people living in a range of housing options.


What came across consistently in the consultation about ‘heritage’ with young people was the need for a person centred, trauma informed approach which offers a high level of support, to enable young people to explore notions of heritage with confidence.


The Connects event with Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children highlighted their interest in the city’s history, in the theme of migration from the city and in concepts of getting to know the city, feeling welcome and feeling safe. And the role word of mouth can play in people’s perceptions of Bristol. They were interested in the theme of passing down knowledge.


The series of in depth one-to-one interviews with 78 young homeless people in March and April 2022 tested the potential themes.  An initial question explored how important history and heritage is to young people.  This built on what young people had articulated in focus groups about:


◦ Having a broad idea of what heritage is. Young people talked about heritage as being: inheriting objects, passing down knowledge and stories, sharing culture, tradition, where you live, ancestry, family, attitude.

◦ Some young people struggling to pin down the meaning of the word heritage, and looking for guidance on this – representing a knowledge gap that was expected.

◦ Young people spoke a lot about heritage and history representing both the good and the bad.

◦ When considering Bristol’s Heritage young people spoke a lot about a history of protest, and challenging the status quo. They also spoke about Bristol’s heritage as involving enslaving people and Colston.

◦ Young people didn’t yet know that much about Kingsley Hall’s building’s history or the organization’s heritage, but when some of the key historic moments in its history were touched on there was a lot of engagement and interest – young people are very keen to find out more!


From the interviews, 1625ip found out that there was a keen interest in all the themes which had been unearthed from early consultation, with 83% of young people showing an interest in one or more of the heritage themes that had emerged through the Connects (Youth Forum) events in January 2022.


The table below shows the percentage of young people interested in the theme:


The ranking of the interests shows that there was highest interest in the most immediate personal and local issues, as had been the case in earlier round table discussion.

Finding out more about my own history/heritage

‘Mum has passed down a piece of jewellery that was her mother’s (young person's grandma's) hope one day will be passed down to me. Dad has a kit car he is refurbishing that will be going to a museum.’ Young person comment in interview, April 2022
‘I think it [heritage] would be more important to me if I knew more of my own history and family heritage’ Young person comment in interview, April 2022
‘Heritage and history pre-colonial Africa. An unknown place when it was thriving and my tribe was around and at its peak. That's my heritage.’ Young person comment in interview, April 2022
‘I don’t have anything from my mum or my dad, nothing was passed down, we had no money. When I was street homeless my only possessions were in a bush in the park.’ Young person comment from Connect event, 2022
‘ I'm Interested in how technology is impacting on tradition - and affecting the passing on of objects, knowledge and stories. Also how technology, including, social media may be driving a monolith of culture and buildings led by algorithms and technologically led building technologies.’ Young person comment in interview, April 2022