Your Heritage, Your Future
Developing sustainable youth heritage programmes


Heritage that works for young people
Young people that work for heritage

Launched in 2023, Your Heritage Your Future offers a unique opportunity for museums and heritage projects across the East Midlands and East of England to develop sustainable youth programmes and diversify their workforce.

It is delivered by YMCA Leicestershire and Norfolk Museums Service, who have made a significant impact in their work with young people aged 11-25, many of whom would not previously have accessed heritage.

Museums and heritage settings: would you like to?

  • Develop youth engagement within your organisation or project
  • Access training for staff and volunteers to understand trauma informed practice and grow confidence of working with young people who have experienced multiple disadvantages
  • Increase and diversify your audience, participation and workforce
  • Create strong partnerships with youth organisations
  • Demystify your cultural offer for new audiences
  • Embed best practice into your work for the future

Explore our site and get involved

Expression of Interest

An expression of interest for museums interested in taking part in the delivery phase of Your Heritage Your Future.

Free training sessions for heritage staff and volunteers who are looking to develop their engagement with young people.

The Y Heritage Charter

All the projects on this website have signed up to this charter, which underpins our work with our principles and values.


Explore our funded heritage projects below. We funded 15 projects, all sourced by a Dragon’s Den panel of young people who considered how best to utilise the funding.

Jul 2017
Kick the Dust

Kick the Dust Development Planning Fund Agreed

Aug 2018
The Project Begins

3yr Funded Project Starts Thanks to funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund

YMCA Leicestershire’s Dragon's Den

First round pitch; five finalists invited to 'Dragon's Den' panel of young people

Dec 2018

New approach to youth engagement implemented across Norfolk Museums Service

Feb 2019
Staff training

Training programme begins to assist Norfolk museum staff working with young people

Leicestershire Round Two

Second round pitch; four finalists invited to 'Dragon's Den' panel of young people

May 2019
Dragons’ Den

Norfolk Museum Service’s programme to enable young people to apply for funding to support youth-led activity

Jun 2019
Developing the Youth Heritage Forum

Eight young YMCA residents engaged in supported visits to local heritage sites across Leicestershire

Norfolk Residential

Norfolk Residential including visits to YMCA Norwich, the Castle Museum, Holt Hall, Sheringham Museum and Bircham Windmill

Oct 2019
Mystery Visits

A team of young people went on mystery shopper visits to Leicestershire museums

Leicestershire Round Three

Third round pitch; four finalists invited to 'Dragon's Den' panel of young people

Dec 2019
Training with Museums

Training Session with Leicester/shire Museums - feedback from the Mystery Visits project, delivered a series of training sessions for museum colleagues

UK Lockdown

UK Lockdown comes into effect

Apr 2020

Bursary traineeship programme starts in Norfolk

Jun 2020
Making Creative Futures

NMS, Children’s Services and heritage organisations join forces to support vulnerable families and young people during Covid

Jul 2020
Funding Secured

Y Heritage secures Youth Accelerator Funding to provide additional digital provision as a response to the pandemic from The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Heritage Open Days 2020

History of the YMCA movement as told by 'George Williams' presented by young people in The Y Theatre

Leicestershire Round Four

Fourth round pitch; six finalists invited to 'Dragon's Den' panel of young people

Nov 2020
SHARE East Webinar

Kick the Dust host talk on influencing governance and the value of youth voice

Feb-Sep 2021
Digital Personas

Digital Personas - Eight young people worked with The Documentary Media Centre and historical settings to increase engagement with Heritage across Leicester/shire using online technology and digital skills

Mar-Sep 2021
Y Heritage Podcasts

Y Heritage Podcasts - A series of online sessions with Decentred Media teaching young people how to create podcasts while learn interview and editing skills

Mar 2021
Evaluation training

The Audience Agency train Young Peer Evaluators

Leicestershire Round Five

Fifth round pitch; six finalists invited to 'Dragon's Den' panel of young people

Jun 2021
Archaeology Sessions

Working with University of Leicester, two groups explored two separate archaeological digs

Jul 2021
Media Makers

One off activity days arranged by the young people at their Digital Persona Heritage settings to create content for museums' online platforms

Aug-Nov 2021
Y Heritage Newspaper

A newspaper put together by young people celebrating the whole Y Heritage project

Sep 2021
Freelancer training

Young people trained in working freelance in the creative sector

Nov 2021
SHARE Conference

‘Sending the right message’ led by young people

Aug-Nov 2021
Accessible Mystery Visits

A team of young people conducted anonymous mystery shopper style visits to museums across Leicester/shire, this time with an emphasis on disability access

Heritage Open Days 2021

Y Heritage Summer Fete - Edwardian and Victorian games and activities hosted and presented by young people in the Y Theatre


Y Heritage Reflection and Celebration event

Feb 2022
SHARE East Children and Young People Conference

Planned and hosted by young ambassadors

Mar 2022
10 Hour Jobs

Part time paid roles created in heritage settings for young people in Leicestershire and Norfolk

Mar 2022
Baedeker Raids Audio Trail

Created by young people

Sep 2022
Heritage Open Days

150 people visited the Bizarre Bazaar with an array of Victorian themed stalls, games and characters.

Sep 2022
2nd Norfolk Trip

Meeting residents from other YMCAs, visiting heritage sites and developing partnership ideas with Norfolk Museum Service

Jan 2023
Evaluation Framework

Developed by Youth Board to support mental well-being

Feb 2023
Mystery Shopper Programme

Thetford Teenage History Club produced findings

‘Done and Dusted’

KTD celebration event planned and hosted by young people

Apr 2023
Kick the Dust…again!

New KTD project with Norfolk Libraries and funded by Arts Council

Jun 2023
Your Heritage, Your Future

YMCA Leicestershire and Norfolk Museums Service engaging museums to develop sustainable youth programmes as a pilot, funded by NLHF


Here are stories from the inspiring young people that have been taking part in our heritage project…..