Bridge to the Future

Two volunteers in Roman costume
Volunteers get to grips with Roman costume

Heritage Grants

NEWCASTLE, Staffordshire, West Midlands
Sporting Communities Community Interest Company
£36300
Young people from Chesterton changed their attitude to their neighbourhood by uncovering its Roman past.

Chesterton in Staffordshire is a deprived area with half of its schoolchildren unaware of its almost 2,000-year-old heritage, historic army camp and the origin of its Roman name.

Young people formed a steering group to decide what to do with the project. They decided to work with Newcastle Museum and Art Gallery which had artefacts from nearby archaeological digs. They took part in workshops to explore Roman clothes, jewellery, mosaics and siege equipment with help from Staffordshire University students. The new skills helped them gain a young leaders award.

To encourage even more young people to get involved they staged eight Roman games which included sports sessions and re-enactments of gladiator battles. As a reminder of their work, they created three permanent information boards in Chesterton Park to share the past with local residents.

Ben Rigby, a youth leader at Sporting Communities Community Interest Company, said: “We found through our work that one of the main reasons for anti-social behaviour by young people is a lack of connection to Chesterton. Exploring the heritage made them feel proud of where they live.”

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