Inspiring young people celebrated at Argyll culture awards

From left: placement participants Naoko Mabon and Neerja Sutaria, Melanie Hill (executive officer, The ScottishPower Foundation), placement participants Amy Johnstone and Abbie MacFadyen in Dunoon Burgh Hall. Photograph: Kevin McGlynn.

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Inspirational young people across Argyll have had their efforts to promote the region’s cultural heritage celebrated at an awards ceremony.

The Cultural Heritage and Arts membership network for Argyll and Isles (CHARTS) hosted the awards at Dunoon Burgh Hall to champion the difference young people have made through its Heritage Horizons programme, funded by the ScottishPower Foundation.

Through the programme, young people joined the teams at museums and cultural heritage sites across the region to learn more about their significance to modern life, and to explore career opportunities in the sector.

Secondary school students and university graduates, including people with additional support needs, took part in the work placements where they developed skills for work, gained qualifications, and deepened their appreciation of local culture.

Apprentice Kirsten Miller worked with local schools, including Rockfield Primary School, and other secondary schools, to develop digital Gaelic resources for the region. The resources were used to inspire students to create paintings, drawings or poetry based on the Gaelic language.

As a result of the project, the Rockfield Centre in Oban developed Gaelic translations for its new heritage gallery space, and Historic Kilbride included Gaelic in the promotion of its new heritage trail.

A two-part film was screened during the event to demonstrate the positive impact the project had for young people involved and Heritage Horizons placement holder Jamie McDonald premiered a short film he has produced with support from Screen Argyll, which explored the megalithic Ringing Stone on Tiree.

A series of presentations by specialists from the heritage field highlighted career paths and the importance of young people to the arts and heritage sectors. Speakers included Kirsten Millar, digital marketing modern apprentice at CHARTS; Jenny Hunter from Dunoon Burgh Hall; Emma Sutcliffe from Dunollie Museum; and Julie Ruddock from Historic Kilbride.

Seymour Adams, vice chairperson at CHARTS said: ‘It’s clear to see from the enthusiasm and smiles on awards night how much they engaged with the project, which we hope will encourage them to continue working with Argyll & Bute museums and heritage venues in the future.’

Melanie Hill, executive officer and trustee at the ScottishPower Foundation, presented some of the young people who took part in the project with award certificates for Saltire Awards, Heritage Hero Gold Awards, Scottish Tourist Guide Association Certificates and Bronze Level Arts Awards.

She said: ‘We’re committed to supporting projects that make a lasting impact on all aspects of people’s lives and crucially – in the current climate – help charities continue the incredible work they do every day to help those who may not have the same opportunities as others.

‘CHARTS is a project that does this by opening doors for young people to experience areas of local culture that they otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to experience.

‘Argyll & Bute has so many inspiring young people and it was brilliant to see first-hand the support CHARTS has put in place to improve future employability in the local community. The positive impact of this project will be felt for many years to come.’

NO_T23_Heritage Horizons_01_Photo Kevin McGlynn

Caption: From left: placement participants Naoko Mabon and Neerja Sutaria, Melanie Hill (executive officer, The ScottishPower Foundation), placement participants Amy Johnstone and Abbie MacFadyen in Dunoon Burgh Hall. Photograph: Kevin McGlynn