Four years of Tracing Our Tales

Four years of Tracing Our Tales

Now in its fourth year, our programme Tracing Our Tales continues to help care-experienced young adults.

Launched in October 2017, Tracing Our Tales, led by artist Albert Potrony, has been a ground-breaking paid training and mentorship programme for care-experienced young adults, with funding from the Oak Foundation.

With the fourth year of this programme starting soon, the traineeship will continue to focus on teaching four areas needed for future employment in the Arts: art skills, teaching skills, employment skills and life skills. The sessions are designed to be fun and fast-paced, seeing trainees join the Museum’s workforce as workshop assistants, where they devise and deliver dynamic art workshops for families, with artists. As well as practical skills for work, general life skills including timekeeping, collaboration, sharing, communication and teamwork, are part of the course. Although this year’s sessions will start virtually due to the current Government guidelines, we aim to move to the Museum in the summer.

The first two years of the programme have been successful in many areas. Trainees from year one expressed how the programme provided a safe space in which they felt able to share their life experiences and gave them confidence to put their new-found skills into practice, and year two trainees learnt how to use their own personal stories of life in care to explore the story of the Foundling Hospital in a powerful and resonating way. They spent time at the London Metropolitan Archives with the Foundling Hospital billet books as well as meeting a former pupil – both of which they said were transformative.

Year two participants were also able to meet with Foundling Fellow and celebrated poet Lemn Sissay OBE, and led a printing workshop for the Museum’s Royal Patron, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. These trainees said they found meeting other young people from the same background reassuring and working in a museum that celebrated their story, very affirming.

You can see examples of the work created by Tracing Our Tales trainees online through their family activities, like tree printing, and also their powerful video Isolation Notes, a short film made by them during lockdown.

Learn more about how this programme has had an impact on the trainees in this video which features clips of the trainees talking about their experiences.

Hands down, the Foundling Museum is the best thing that’s ever happened to me! 

If you would like any further information about Tracing Our Tales, please contact Emma Middleton on 020 7841 3610 or emma@foundlingmuseum.org.uk