Twelve York-based charities, community groups and VSCE organisations have been awarded community grants by Make It York and York Civic Trust as part of the York Trailblazers project, available thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
A total of £30,000 was made available for organisations to cover projects, events or initiatives that celebrate York’s history and heritage, uncover lesser-known heritage stories of York, enable community activity, and reduce resident isolation.
The projects that will be funded by the York Trailblazers Community Grants are:
- Converge – a series of 10 history and art workshops for adults with mental ill health, unlocking the often unknown 121 years of The Grand Opera House through music, performance and creative writing. The workshops will explore and interpret stories from forgotten theatre directors, wrestling matches, bingo halls and roller discos.
- Eimaan Culture and Community Services CIC – celebrating the heritage and history of Ugandan refugees who settled in York 51 years ago through a series of community events, which aim to reduce loneliness and isolation, as well as building confidence.
- Friends of Rowntree Park, “Unravelling the Evolving Nature of Rowntree Park’ – a series of historical walks/talks, displays, informative trails and website material to promote community engagement, encourage the sharing of memories, stories and experiences from local residents, and inspire sustainable development practices in the future.
- Good Organisation CIC – a series of collaborative workshops, promoting skill development in archive research, creative writing, photography, graphic design and associated editing software, to create a 50-page book exploring York’s ‘alternative’ history through the eyes of 10 individuals affected by homelessness.
- Live Music Now North East, “The street where I lived” – a creative musical project around the street names of York, encouraging older people in residential care settings to explore heritage and share stories of their favourite streets.
- Next Door But One, “Important Like Me” – 10 creative workshops engaging a number of diverse community groups, particularly young adults with disabilities, young girls, unpaid carers and LGTQ+ adults, to explore inspirational people from history and local contemporary culture, and produce a short collaborative YouTube video.
- The Yorkshire Philosophical Society – a series of creative activities for school and community groups, including drawing, drama, video, scrapbooking, research and storytelling, to encourage involvement in archaeology and celebrate the heritage of the Yorkshire Museum and Gardens, unearthing hidden stories of local people.
- Theatre @41 and We Are The Groves – a 10-week programme of creative writing and performance for adults from the local community, finding ways to express moments of significant local history and understand their importance, as well as providing access to the arts
- Thrive Outside CIC – heritage crafting sessions to bring older residents together to share skills, knowledge and memories of traditional outdoor craft and use of seasonal flora
- York Dance Space – celebrating 100 years of Tang Hall social estate by working with community groups of Tang Hall and creating a dance theatre piece to tell the story of the people who live and used to live there
- York Learning and All Saints – a series of workshops to celebrate Dame Emma Raughton, the Anchorite of All Saints, which will see participants researching her incredible life and working alongside local stained glass artist Ann Sotheran to develop their own designs, which will be produced and showcased around the city
- York Travellers Trust – 10 workshops which will provide a safe, welcoming space for young Gypsy and Travellers to share their experiences and explore their culture, resulting in the creation of artwork which will form an exhibition at the York Travellers Trust.
Helen Apsey, Head of Culture and Wellbeing at Make It York, says “The applications we’ve received for the grants really showcase the breadth and diversity of cultural and community initiatives taking place across the city to support local people’s wellbeing. It’s also brilliant to see how keen local community groups are to learn more about their history and heritage.
We’re really pleased to be able to fund these community initiatives through the Trailblazers community grants and are looking forward to adding these to the exciting programme for York Trailblazers in 2024.”
For more information:
Livvy Golby-Kirk, Marketing & Communications Officer at York Civic Trust
Brittany Guymer, Communications & Marketing Executive at Make It York
Notes to Editors:
About Make It York
Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities.
- City positioning and profile-raising
- Ensuring an exciting city centre
- Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy
About York Civic Trust
York Civic Trust is a membership organisation open to all who wish to protect and enhance York’s architectural and cultural heritage, to champion good design and to advance the high place which York holds amongst the cities of the world. Founded in 1946, it has the key objectives of “Promoting Heritage—Shaping Tomorrow” at the heart of its work. Since an extensive conservation-repair programme in the 1980s, the Trust has restored Fairfax House on York’s Castlegate to its former grandeur. It is one of England’s finest Georgian townhouses and now a museum and offices of the Trust.
About The National Lottery Heritage Fund
Using money raised by The National Lottery, we Inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. www.heritagefund.org.uk.
Since The National Lottery began in 1994, National Lottery players have raised over £43 billion for projects and more than 635,000 grants have been awarded across the UK. More than £30 million raised each week goes to good causes across the UK.