Over the past 12 months, young people at Y2K have been embracing their mining heritage in a project funded by the Heritage Lottery ‘Young Roots’ programme.
Working in partnership with the National Mining Museum Scotland, Y2K has encouraged young people to take on the role of ‘Mayfield Explorers’ – planning, attending training and getting involved in workshops, trips and cultural events.
Project lead Elaine McCairney said: “The young people have enjoyed this programme because it is not like their experiences of visits to the museum with school.
“Education manager Vicki has been brilliant facilitating workshops and giving us access to behind the scenes workings of the museum.”
Daytime trips to the Newtongrange attraction during Easter, summer and October breaks have proved an effective way to introduce issues around heritage and sense of place to otherwise non-engaging young people, through a fun and informal approach.
Y2K project manager, Carol Flack said: “Trips have taken the young people to local areas of interest quite literally on their doorstep. We have used the Mayfield Explorers project to inform and enlighten them about the richness of the stories linked to these places.”
The young people have had several dealings with ex-miners who are now involved in volunteering at the museum.
They have also been encouraged to speak with and interview family members so they can share these stories within the project.
Besides the end of project Celebration Exhibition at the Mining Museum, work is also underway for an indoor mural combining collage, photography and painting – this will be a celebration of learning as well as a record of the activities and connections made over the life of the project.
The Celebration Exhibition opened on February 7 with a presentation of Heritage Hero Awards for the Mayfield Explorers. It is open to the public as a temporary exhibition in the ‘Mini Miners’ room at the National Mining Museum until May 1.