#HeritageChat February 2022 – Storytelling and Heritage

Led on a wall that reads 'We are all made of stories'February’s #HeritageChat focused on Storytelling and Heritage.

Participants explored the elements that make a story really successful, giving also practical suggestions, and what is the potential of digital storytelling. They highlighted in particular the potential of reaching geographically diverse audiences. The chat then focused on community-led storytelling, with associated risks and opportunities, and the difficulties of telling stories about dark heritage.

The chat also explored how to measure the success of storytelling, and participants highlighted that the impact of storytelling is difficult to measure with numbers, as it involves emotions and reflections. Finally, participants discussed to what extent storytelling can be used to motivate the public become more engaged with important issues such as climate change. The power of giving examples and sharing stories is showcased in our report Heritage Responds, which aims to inspire heritage organisations to take action to fighting climate change through case studies.

You can read the summary of the chat here.

Picture: Social Cut on Unsplash.

The first Heritage Pulse survey is out

The first UK Heritage Pulse survey is out. Organisations and sole traders can still register and provide insight to inform strategy, recovery and reinvention post-Covid. Heritage Pulse UK is an initiative created by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Historic England (HEF members).

The HEF Covid Task Group contributed to shape the set of questions shared in this survey; we’re looking forward to finding out the insights shared by the sector.

#HeritageChat January 2022 – The role of innovation in building the resilience of heritage organisations

January’s #HeritageChat was led in collaboration with the Rebuilding Heritage team, and discussed The role of innovation in building the resilience of heritage organisations.

First of all, #HeritageChat explored the challenges faced by the heritage organisations and professionals since the start of the pandemic. Participants listed: the ability to continue to deliver activities with reduced resources, caring for wellbeing, business planning in uncertain times, with restrictions changing frequently. We then explored the measures that the sector adopted to address the challenges, such as being flexible and responsive, improving digital skills, adopting flexible working patterns, building stronger networks. While ‘resilience’ is tricky to define, participants shared what measures they think can increase resilience: increased communications, good understanding of the organisation’s mission, contingency planning, collaboration, networking.

Participants also discussed the role of networking, the type of support they would like, and the areas where they think they need support.

You can read the summary of the chat here.

Picture: Architectural Heritage Fund.

#HeritageChat December 2021 – Celebrating 2021… and looking forward to 2022!

December’s #HeritageChat provided an occasion to Celebrate what the sector has achieved in 2021 and share our wishes for 2022.

It was wonderful to see the many positive achievements of the sector in 2021, notwithstanding the challenges caused by the pandemic, and the positive wishes for the future of our organisations and the sector. Here’s a nice tweet from the Heritage Alliance: “We wish for a year of continued resilience & increased growth for the wide range of orgs across the sector, enabling them to improve protections for #heritage & maximise its benefits for a wider range of people across the country.”

You can read the summary of the chat here.

Picture: Mario La Pergola on

2021 Year in Review

We can’t believe it’s already the end of 2021! It’s been such a busy year, and another challenging one for many heritage organisations. We hope that 2022 paves the way to full recovery, and to a strong and resilient heritage sector.

With 2021 drawing to a close, it’s time to look back at what we have achieved this year. Let’s kickstart our year in review with figures about HEF as a whole. Here below you can find our main events, and the strategic priorities we discussed over the course of the year.

Our Covid Task Group published the Heritage Recovery Plan and helped DCMS to consult the sector ahead of the Heritage Statement. Our brilliant COP26 Task Group published the report Heritage Responds with a set of case studies to show the positive contribution the sector can have to tackle climate change.

In Jan we launched this website – and thanks everyone for engaging with our comms & especially with #HeritageChat!

We sincerely want to thank all our members and Historic England for funding HEF. We are proud of what we have achieved in 2021, and we’re looking forward to working with you in 2022!

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