Young people invited to explore the First World War

Young people invited to explore the First World War

Called Seeds of Change, the project is open to young people aged 13-19. It has been developed by the Arts For Teens Group – young people working with Hartlepool Council’s Youth Support Services (YSS) and Museums Service to develop better cultural opportunities for youngsters in the town.

The project is funded by a grant of £34,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (Young Roots) – money which the Arts For Teens Group won after carrying out preliminary research for the project including attending a theatre performance of War Horse and visiting London’s Imperial War Museum. The remainder of the cash is coming from the YSS.

Full details of the project are still to be developed, but a highlight will be the production of a play based on aspects of the First World War. It will be performed next summer at youth centres and Hartlepool’s Town Hall Theatre and volunteers are needed to get involved with everything from research and scriptwriting to costume and set production and acting.

There are also plans for a ‘lifestyle event’ this autumn, 21 September, recreating daily life on the wartime and home fronts, special screenings of films on First World War themes, archaeology training sessions and an exploration of the suffragette movement to coincide with International Women’s Day next March.

Young people taking part will also have an opportunity to gain Arts Council Bronze, Silver and Gold Arts Awards, which at gold level also provide qualification points towards university admission.

Beth Storey, Youth Work Manager in the IYSS, said: “Congratulations to the Arts For Teens Group on winning the grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. “Looking at the past is a great way of helping to understanding the context of our own lives, and the period around the Great War saw a massive amount of social change. Our aim is also to help broaden the young people’s aspirations, giving them new experiences and using our heritage and culture to inspire them.”

Explaining the importance of the HLF support, Head of HLF North East Ivor Crowther, said: “The impact of the First World War was far reaching, touching and shaping every corner of the UK and beyond. The Heritage Lottery Fund has already invested more than £15million in projects – large and small - that are marking this global Centenary; with our new small grants programme, we are enabling even more communities like those involved in ‘Seeds of Change’ to explore the continuing legacy of this conflict and help local young people in particular to broaden their understanding of how it has shaped our modern world.”

Notes to editors

Through its First World War: then and now programme, HLF is making at least £1million available per year for six years until 2019. It will provide grants between £3,000 and £10,000 enabling communities and groups right across the UK to explore, conserve and share their First World War heritage and deepen their understanding of the impact of the conflict.

Follow us on twitter @heritagelottery #understandingWW1

To find out how to apply for funding visit our First World War: then and now page. If a group needs a grant of more than £10,000 for a First World War project, apply through our open programmes.

UK Government Centenary plans
In June 2013, the Government set out its plans to mark the centenaries of the First World War commencing in 2014. These plans include a £35m refurbishment of the First World War galleries at the Imperial War Museum (IWM); The Government’s principal partners in the commemorations will be the Heritage Lottery Fund and the IWM, but will encompass support for a multitude of other initiatives, large and small, as they come together in the months and years to come

Further information

Young people interested in taking part in the project should contact Derek Minton, Project Leader at Brinkburn Youth Club, on 01429 265 400, email or Julian Heward, Public Relations Officer, on 01429 523 044.

Heritage Lottery Fund: Lucinda Tyrell on 0207 591 6031, email: