As a person with an avid interest in history, I saw the Young Producers’ Shout Out Loud programme as a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded people, and make a difference within an organisation, and topic, that I feel passionate about.
I originally became immersed in history through the classically loved Tudors, when I began lessons on Henry VIII’s wives in primary school I found myself wanting to know everything about them! After years studying, researching, reading (historical novels – Hi Philippa Gregory!), and a watching a worryingly long list of period dramas. I found a true passion in history and through the pursuit of these interests I’ve had the chance to study various other topics within British history that interest me, such as the Industrial Revolution.
From a fairly young age, I have found that historical properties, including those of English Heritage, make fascinating visits. One of the examples I can most distinctly remember is Stonehenge, where I was amazed by how significant and intriguing a circle of rocks could be! This memory was one of the things that motivated me to apply for the Shout Out Loud programme.
English Heritage had made a brilliant impression on me over the years and I wanted to ensure that other properties were also celebrated in a similar way. The main thing that made me keen to get involved, however, is the simple recognition that a teenager an interest in history seems to be growing gradually rarer, especially with the rapid increase in use of technology over the last decade.
Personally, I consider history, particularly England’s history, to be a fundamental aspect to the society I live in and even contributes to who I am as a person, I am influenced by the development of my country, as can be said of everyone else. With this in mind, I was very excited and am now very proud to have a role in the representation of something I am so passionate about and to be part of the effort to engage more people within my age group in such an important subject.
During February half term, I took part in the York Residential, excited to take the opportunity to truly get stuck into the Shout Out Loud programme. Though I was initially a little nervous about the pressure or possible awkwardness of the situation, it was actually a really fun three days!
Working in groups on projects made it a perfect environment to be able to propose my ideas or simply contribute to others if I was less sure. I was able to be involved while feeling completely relaxed. It was brilliant to be able to put my ideas forward and to hear others and have them seriously considered and discussed, giving me a sense of responsibility and significance in an important project that, as a teenager, I am not often able to experience.
This was extended within our visit to Helmsley Castle, during which we were able to give specific feedback and criticisms to English Heritage, giving a structure and template to our ideas, once again reducing the pressure of it and also supplying an enjoyable way of overviewing the property.
What’s more, the residential nurtured my confidence and opened my mind to thinking in different ways. Especially through the sessions on leadership, that allowed us to analyse ourselves and how we think, as well as what would define an ideal leader or team, giving us objectives to work towards. Being encouraged to talk openly about things we wouldn’t always necessarily think or talk about also improved the communication and teamwork between the Young Producers, which made us work openly and productively with a group of people who shared similar interests and opinions.