Featherstone's young people to mine their rich local heritage

The Youth Work Company, based in Wakefield, has received £49,900 from HLF for an exciting project based in the heart of Featherstone. The Teenage Kicks project will be led by young people from the local community and focus on youth culture in the area since the Second World War. Young people will gather stories locally and use these to design a theatre production with the support of local youth theatre company, HQ Arts. The project starts at the beginning of October 2013 and work will continue until the project concludes with performances in July 2014.

Featherstone has a rich mining heritage, and the National Coal Mining Museum for England (NCMME) will work with youth workers and young people to enable them to gather information as part of the project. Workshops will look at collecting oral histories, enabling local young people to talk to local residents of different generations asking what life was like for them as teenagers. Such skills should enable the young people to grow in confidence in talking to others, and will nurture better relationships between the different generations in the community.  

Through the partnership with NCMME, young people will become aware of the lives, typical of their families in days gone by and the socio-economic impact that the closure of the mines has had on the area where they live.

Commenting on the award, Jo Davis from The Youth Work Company said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and excited by the prospect of working in Featherstone with local young people supporting them to be active citizens with pride in their local community and mining heritage.”

Explaining the importance of the HLF support,  head of the HLF Yorkshire and the Humber, Fiona Spiers, said: “It’s so important for young people to learn about their past and understand where they have come from.  This project will give them a host of new skills, boost their confidence and create a sense of place in their community and with their peers.

Notes to editors

The Youth Work Company is a not-for-profit workers’ co-operative of professional youth workers. We improve young people’s life chances through youth work opportunities. We design projects that enable young people to grow in knowledge, skills, experience and self-confidence. We have an office in Agbrigg. Wakefield is our home. Our other local projects have included Artbeats, Active and Volunteer 2 Play. See the Youth Work Company website for more information.

The National Coal Mining Museum for England is situated at Caphouse Colliery on the A642 between Wakefield and Huddersfield. The Museum is free admission, and includes free car and coach parking. Opening hours 10.00am - 5.00pm daily except for 24-26 December and 1 January. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Please arrive early to book onto an underground tour, as at busy periods tours are often fully booked by midday. Temperature underground is 12°C; we strongly recommend warm practical clothing and sensible flat shoes. Unfortunately children under five years old are not permitted on the underground tour. There is an indoor play area for children under five. Disabled facilities include level parking, ramp and disabled toilets with underground tours also available with prior arrangement. For more information please visit the museum website.

Further information
Jo Davis, Lead Youth Worker at The Youth Work Company on 07856 805 993 or email: jodavis@theyouthworkcompany.org.