Thursday 07 February 2013
Year 6 pupils from Dewstow Primary School in Monmouthshire and Years 8 and 9 pupils from Caldicot School today joined Housing Regeneration and Heritage Minister, Huw Lewis to launch the Welsh Government’s Changing Cultures initiative at Tredegar House in Newport.
The pupils gave a presentation about their recent work with Cadw on an archaeological dig at Llanmelin, near Caerwent, Monmouthshire and their part in the Youth Panel which was intended to help inspire children to learn more about their local history and boost their performance in school. The dig is part of Cadw’s community archaeology scheme which will contribute to the Changing Cultures programme.
Backed with funding of £150,000, Changing Cultures aims to encourage young people and their families, particularly those from less well off backgrounds, to engage with museums, archives, libraries, historic places and the arts. It will also help support agencies and the cultural sector to work even better together to ensure that services are accessible and welcoming to all.
Speaking at the launch, the Minister said: 'The eradication of child poverty is a fundamental priority for the Welsh Government. It is a major challenge and a priority across my portfolio. I want it to remain at the heart of the work of our museums, archives, libraries and historic environment.
'Museums, archives and libraries and historic places can make a real difference to children’s lives. Engaging with them can inspire a love for learning that in turn reduces inequality, develops skills and improves quality of life and life chances.
'We have already done a lot of good work in this field – Amgueddfa Cymru’s Just Bling project is a prime example as is Cadw’s Llanmelin Community Project that the children have told us about – but we now need to ensure that this good practice extends across Wales.
'The Changing Cultures initiative aims to do just that. It will encourage services to review and improve their approach to delivering services for young people, particularly in areas of need, and will fund activities which demonstrate the change that is needed to encourage participation by our poorest families and their children.'