Over the past 14 years I have been involved in running traditional Heritage Open Days events such as guided bus tours, in venue tours and talks for adult visitors to our venues, Washington ‘F’ Pit Museum and Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens. These events offer visitors a chance to delve deeper into different topics, e.g. for the 2022 festival theme of Astounding Inventions we planned a programme of talks about Sunderland inventors, Joseph Swan and William Mills.
What we do for HODS
Taking part in the New Wave project this year has been an amazing experience as, for the first time, we have been able to work specifically with young people aged 18 – 25 to see what heritage themes are interesting to them and let them lead the process of planning their own event for themselves and their peers. This process led to the creation of the Proggy Pride Party, a unique new event!
The difference it makes
Because of this project we have recruited lots of new members to the Celebrate Different Collective, going from a core of 3 to 13 members at the time of the event. We expect some joined specifically because of their interest in the Proggy Pride Party, but some have already decided they want to stay which is great!
How passionate young people can be about a heritage craft like proggy. The group really related to the recycling and re-using aspect of this traditional craft and that make do and mend activities have real value in the current cost of living and climate crisis. Our group includes neurodiverse young people and they said they enjoyed doing proggy because they like to have something to do with their hands when we are meeting and chatting. They found proggy very mindful and calming.