Culture Track Celebration Event

Culture Track

On Saturday we celebrated the end of the Culture Track project, with an event for participants, parents and carers, support staff, and staff from Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums. Culture Track was a three year project, led by TWAM and funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, with the aim of providing young unemployed people with volunteer placements in cultural organisations that meet their individual needs, and focus on developing employability skills and self-confidence.

Over the three years of the project we have worked with more than 40 young people, who have undertaken a variety of roles in different venues across the organisation. A few examples include:

  • Helping on the railway at the Stephenson Railway Museum
  • Assisting visitors to Discovery Museum as Interactive Demonstrators in the Science Maze gallery
  • Working in the library in the Great North Museum: Hancock
  • Assisting the Front of House staff at South Shields Museum
  • Creating a Welcome Post outside the Tyne and Wear Archives search room

Participants have also had the opportunity to undertake a Level 1 accredited course in Volunteering, and we are very pleased to say they all passed! There have also been other training opportunities, such as attending some of the Museum Core Skills workshops. Some of the young people have also been working towards Arts Awards qualifications, by creating a display board inspired by items they discovered in the Archives on the theme of Victorian seaside. The board is now finished and can be seen in the Archives corridor in Discovery Museum.

On Saturday we were thrilled to take the opportunity to thank the young people for their hard work in the volunteer roles they have undertaken, and presented them with certificates of achievement. Many of those involved in Culture Track in recent months will be able to continue with their volunteer roles thanks to the support of the museum staff, and others have signed up to some of the regular volunteer roles advertised on our Current Opportunities page.

We have also been gathering feedback from the young people about what the Culture Track experience has meant to them – here are just some of the fantastic quotes from our evaluation workshops.

I’ve been able to do stuff that I hadn’t done before, pushing me out of my comfort zone. I’ve had more support here than anywhere else.

I’ve gained a lot more confidence through this work in general ‘cause now I feel like I’m making myself be something, instead of just sitting around.

I’ve proved something about myself, I can be the best person I can be.