Heritage Project, Exploring Own Roots - Sandwell Youth Offending Service (2016)

Summary:  Attached is a summary of the Heritage project which assists children in exploring their roots and heritage via different methods. 



  • To give young people the opportunity to explore their heritage and roots
  • To give young people an opportunity to learn about various cultures as well as an improved sense of identity




This is a Heritage Lottery funded project in which young people explore their roots and heritage through various methods. The project was for one year and has included trips to the archive service, local libraries, desktop research, oral history interviews, and cooking sessions. To introduce young people to the project they were asked to create a family tree and from there a conversation took place regarding their interests and how this may have linked to British society or values of another culture. From then the activity the young person engaged with depended on their interest and intensity of their order. Some young people attended oral history training sessions, others went to the archives service and conducted research, some made flags, and some just had a discussion with a case manager and contributed to a brochure.


Throughout the project various materials have been produced which will be displayed in an exhibition. This includes a brochure, recipe book, posters, and flags, demonstrating what has been learnt thought the lifetime of the project.


This has given young people an opportunity to learn about various cultures as well as their own, helping to provide them with a sense of identity. It has provided a positive activity for them to be involved with, and a safe environment for them to express their views and perspectives. It has also provided staff with the knowledge of various cultures and the impact it may have on young people, as well as how the differences in culture may cause conflicting values for the young people. It is a new way to get young people to engage constructively, and the topic of culture and identity has been adopted within group and one to one sessions.


All materials produced as part of the project will be displayed in an exhibition touring the local libraries in Sandwell.



Implementing the Practice:

  • The project has included one on one sessions with young people as well as group work
  • The project has allowed for regular consideration of culture and heritage
  • This project fits well with wider work being done around disproportionality and over-representation




YOT: Sandwell Youth Offending Team
Name: Michael Botham
Email: michael_botham@sandwell.gov.uk