“I recently attended the Action for Children Heritage and Inclusion exhibition launch.  What a fantastic event to showcase the impact when  Scotland’s diverse cultures of young women collaborate and get the opportunity to express their views and aspirations for the future.   The young women were core to the event chairing, presenting, fielding questions and reciting poetry.  I was struck by their determination and drive to make communicate the message of inclusion and positive female role models within their communities.  I can’t remember the last time I felt such positivity and emotion at an event of this nature.”

Alex Cumming, Assistant Director – Scotland

“Edinburgh Napier Students’ Association is very proud to be working in partnership with Action for Children on the heritage project. It has been an extremely rewarding experience for our staff and students to have been working alongside the young BME women to help them achieve their Duke of Edinburgh Awards (DofE). The young people have embraced the project and are working hard to complete the various aspects and I am particularly pleased that they have chosen to learn to play touch rugby as the physical activity for DofE and are aiming to put together a team for our tournament in September.”

Maxine Wood – Deputy Manager, Edinburgh Napier Students Association

“It was a pleasure to visit the Cultural Heritage Project Action for Children’s Heritage Project at Portobello High School recently to meet some of the amazing women involved in your project.

Projects like the Cultural Heritage Project are crucial in helping our young ethnic minority women overcome barriers from cultural traditions, negative media representations and discrimination within the community. It is vital that in such a diverse nation as Scotland that we empower our young women to dream big and aim high, no matter what their background.

It is my hope that being involved in this project will enable these young women to be more confident within themselves, feel more involved in their communities and inspired to take their work forward into Further or Higher Education. We all know that it is when young women feel supported, are included and encouraged that they perform at their very best and I am very much looking forward to seeing the outcomes of this 2-year project.

I am very encouraged to hear that all participants will be rewarded with a certificate as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award fulfilment and an event at Holyrood Palace for the project volunteers to celebrate their achievements. As an MSP for the Lothian area I am proud to support the Cultural Heritage Project and wish all involved the very best. ”

Kezia Dugdale MSP, Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Lothian Region

“One of the guiding principles of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) is that it should be “achievable by all”. Through Action for Children’s drive and enthusiasm to open up the Award to a predominately ethnically and culturally diverse group they have become an excellent example of how the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award can reach out and be a meaningful experience with those who may not have been seen as traditional participants in the past. The staff of Action for Children and their partners have demonstrated the importance of making a connection, a human contact which demonstrates care and compassion. It is only when this is in place that any meaningful change can happen.  I am delighted as the Heritage Project really validates the power of the Award to engage with young people developing lasting skills for life and work.”

Pete Moir – Operations Officer Duke of Edinburgh Awards

“The Heritage project is a hugely valuable addition to our curriculum, as we wish to celebrate our diverse communities and provide opportunities for our students to be empowered and to develop strong, confident voices. Learning about our range of cultures benefits us all as it educates our whole school community and it has been wonderful to see the girls engage so passionately with the project and project workers. Our students are developing their leadership skills and sense of identity, exploring and celebrating their cultural histories while learning important skills for life, learning and work. We are very proud of our students and the fantastic role models they have become for girls and young women everywhere. ”

Paul Chambers – Depute Rector, The Royal High School

“The Heritage Lottery Fund is delighted to be supporting this important and exciting project. It’s inspiring to see ethnically and culturally diverse young women in Edinburgh grow in self-confidence by taking ownership of their heritage. Heritage offers a rich and exciting resource for learning and these young women have seen that potential. Whether its exploring the National Galleries of Scotland, gathering oral histories from their own families, or creating their own exhibitions and films, they are not only developing their own skills but encouraging the wider community to celebrate inclusion and diversity.”

Katherine Wynn Grants Officer, Heritage Lottery Fund, Scotland Office

“I think this project has had a huge beneficial effect on the young women involved. Many of the participants have told me that they feel an increase in confidence since beginning the project and in the knowledge that they have the continual support of Khaleda. I think lots of the young women had not previously acknowledged the wealth of stories and images that are associated with their various cultures and heritage. This project allowed them to access their own personal histories in various ways and provide a safe and supportive place to share and learn from each other. I am very proud to have been a part of this project and have been consistently amazed by the discussions between the groups and the output of each individual involved.”

Morwenna Kearsely – Heritage Artist

“I was delighted to attend the Heritage Girls’ Group event at the Scottish National Gallery on June 9th. I knew that our Broughton students had been working hard over the year, exploring their heritage and identity, their cultural awareness of self and others, and their creativity through a range of media. I just wasn’t prepared for the power and impact of the event. It took my breath away. Themes of strength and cultural identity were shared through film, poem and installation art work.  Our students who presented in front of the large audience appeared self-assured, confident and strong. The work of this group has already had a significant impact on the development of these girls. I am looking forward to seeing them grow even stronger, more confident and more culturally aware over the next year. I am so proud of Broughton’s strong young women.”

Pauline Cumming Depute Head teacher, Broughton High School

“It has been a privilege for SEE to be a part of the Heritage project. Working with the young women involved in the film clearly illustrates they all have unique and inspiring voices. It is of great importance we allow these voices to be heard. We hope the film will reach far and wide and give confidence to young women everywhere.”

Chris, filmmaker, Screen Education Edinburgh