Inclusive heritage

Inclusive heritage

Young women in a wood
Young women at the SHEROES natural heritage project. Credit: Wayfinding
Heritage has a crucial role to play in contributing to a more equal society.

What is inclusion?

Inclusion is about taking action to ensure that contemporary society in the UK is better represented in your heritage project.

We believe everyone should be able to benefit from our funding, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, faith, class or income.

"Heritage activities bring people and communities together in so many brilliant ways. We are constantly inspired by the many creative ways previously hidden histories are shared, helping us all learn more about each other and our differing personal lives, experiences and memories."

Liz Ellis, Heritage Fund Policy Project Manager for inclusion

The terms we use:

Some of the terms we use include:

  • diverse ethnic communities, or ethnically diverse communities. In Scotland we use MECC (minority ethnic and cultural community). We have revised our usage of the term BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic).
  • LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other identities)

We use these terms because we believe they are widely understood. Identities can be complex and intersectional, and we are also aware that for many these terms may feel inadequate or limiting. We keep the language we use constantly under review.

What we expect from projects

Every project we fund must reach our mandatory outcome that "a wider range of people will be involved in heritage". Find out more in our inclusion guidance.

We want to see every project taking steps to reach out to new people, to share heritage beyond their organisation, and to embed inclusive practice as far as they can.

In planning your project, ensure that everyone you work with feels a sense of welcome and belonging.

Take a look below at some of the inspiring projects we have funded.

What you can expect from us

We want to make sure our funding is open and accessible to all. We have set out a plan to meet people’s access needs, from translation services to digital application support.

 

Sikh men looking at a book

We support all sorts of projects which explore and celebrate the heritage of diverse ethnic communities.

We also want to help the sector itself to better reflect the UK population.

Group of young people

Since 1994, we are proud to have invested over £60million across the UK in projects working with children and young people. This includes the £10m Kick the Dust programme.

People using wheelchairs at heritage project

Disabled people are under-served in every area of the heritage sector, including people who are learning disabled, people with physical or sensory disabilities or those living with dementia or using mental health services.

We are working in partnership with disabled people to change this unfair situation.

Young people with rainbow bubble

Since 1994 we've invested over £12million across the UK in sharing stories of LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other identities) heritage, creativity, activism and much more.

Young people with rainbow bubble

Heritage can build connectedness to where you live, to people around you or to a community online. It can support individual confidence and self-esteem, and provide opportunities to be mentally and physically active.

Heritage can also help us find meaning and purpose in our lives. Both are significant aspects in how we experience wellbeing.

Four young people chatting and looking at a display of a small historical model settlement
Curating for Change Fellows at the Museum of London. Credit: Museum of London

Stories

How to make recruitment fair and open to all

Curating for Change – the National Lottery-funded work placement programme for D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent curators in museums – is challenging the heritage sector to consider equitable recruitment.
Life-sized statue of a woman in a small, landscaped garden
More than a cell – statue of Henrietta Lacks (1920-1951) by Helen Wilson-Roe in Royal Fort Garden, Bristol. Photo: Bhagesh Sachania Photography.

Stories

Bringing Henrietta Lacks’ story to life in Bristol

Explore how the University of Bristol is spotlighting Henrietta’s controversial contribution to medicine and inspiring future scientists.
A group of children posing for a photograph, some holding family objects
Children at a workshop held during the project.

Stories

Cocorico! Exploring the heritage in our homes

A Congolese community organisation in Swansea brought people together to learn about and share their heritage through personal items.
An event at Newham Chinese Association
An event at Newham Chinese Association. Photo: Newham Chinese Association.

Projects

Malaysian Angels of the NHS

Newham Chinese Association are gathering oral histories of 20 Malaysian nurses who arrived to the UK to work for the NHS from the 1950s onwards.