Heritage project to help London’s children re-engage with community after lockdown

London children who have been cooped up at home will be able to discover the historic buildings on their doorstep when lockdown is over.

A new £300,000 heritage programme aims to inspire schoolchildren to re-engage with their local community when the pandemic restrictions are lifted.

The Proud Places project is being set up by the Heritage of London Trust, which restores London’s buildings and monuments, and will be launched in the autumn.

It will allow children to visit buildings that are being restored and take part in workshops designed to give them a sense of pride about where they live.

State school pupils aged seven to 16 will have the chance to meet conservation experts and  stonemasons and discover the historic buildings and monuments near to them.

It is hoped the project will boost the independence and freedom of children who will have been stuck at home during the lockdown restrictions.

But if restrictions are still in place, the project will launch virtually in September. There are more than 700 completed restoration projects with interesting stories and photographs from beginning to end available for children to research online.

A spokeswoman for the Heritage of London Trust said: “Proud Places will encourage young Londoners to build strong positive connections with the area around them. By sharing the stories behind historic buildings and monuments and explaining the process of restoration, the programme aims to open new horizons as well as encourage younger pupils to engage with their own families about local history.”

Heritage of London Trust was awarded a grant of £300,000 in February from the Jones Day Foundation to create Proud Places.

Pupils have already been involved in pilot projects looking at the restoration of the Sir Christopher Wren Spire in Round Hill and the restoration of a statue of the 18th century actress Sarah Siddons.

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