Kick The Dust Evaluation

Our ambitious youth-focused £10million grant programme Kick the Dust (KtD) is transforming how heritage organisations engage young people in the UK.

Renaisi and Centre for Youth Impact are conducting an independent programme evaluation, tracking change and progress of the programme over five years. They are working closely with the twelve funded KtD projects, to assess the impact of the programme, improve project evaluation, encourage reflective practice, and produce evidence about the value of youth engagement with heritage.

A Theory of Change underpins the programme evaluation methodology which includes a Common measurement framework (for data that all projects will collect using the same methods), annual surveys with heritage and other project staff, four in-depth case studies, and learning events.  

The first year evaluation report for the period between September 2017 and February 2019, presents the programme methodology and tools and includes an analysis of some preliminary data collected from the projects i.e. project managers’ survey on the project development phase, projects’ development phase research, activity and evaluation plans. It concludes with recommendations for the projects, the Fund and other Funders supporting youth engagement.

Further findings of the programme evaluation will be disseminated through an interim and a final report.

Key findings

  • Need for more ambitious engagement of youth with heritage: current engagement with young people is limited to school visits and work experience. Young people feel they are not the target audience for heritage activities. Governance schemes which include young people lack diversity in the participants, heritage is not communicated in a youth-friendly way
  • Testing out ideas: allowing time for organisations working with young people to test out and strengthen ideas is vital. Each KtD project had a funded six month period to test and develop ideas with young people, to consult young people, youth partners and develop partnerships between youth and heritage organisations
  • Driving change within heritage: the levels of organisational change vary amongst the twelve projects with some having innovative ideas to drive lasting organisational change within heritage such as the:
    • Creation of a new youth-led heritage organisation
    • Development of a framework assessing the inclusiveness of heritage collections
    • Development of a young people’s cultural rights scheme for heritage
    • Embedding environmental resources and nature in youth work

About Kick The Dust

Kick the Dust aims to make heritage relevant to more and diverse young people by increasing the scale and quality of youth engagement with heritage and develop ongoing work with young people in heritage organisations. The programme was named by young people to ‘stir up heritage’. Decision-making in the programme has been informed by 15 young Heritage Ambassadors recruited by The Fund, the #DustKickers.

Grants of £500,000 to £1m were awarded to twelve projects across the UK, led by a consortium of heritage and youth partners. The projects are running for a five year period between 2017 and 2023.

Attachment Size
Year 1 report 637.01 KB 637.01 KB
Appendices 723.66 KB 723.66 KB