Group of young people looking out to Edinburgh city and sea.

Where we are... programme

Supported by

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation

Contact us

For more information, email:

Where we are... is a UK-wide national programme for young people aged 16–24 that co-designs and co-delivers meaningful local projects in arts and culture.

Supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and covering costs for all involved, the programme aims to engage young people who are under-served in the museum sector.

How it works

Running from 2021–2025, Where we are... will be delivered through a collaborative partnership between the British Museum, a local museum (or cultural organisation), a third sector organisation (charity, community group, social enterprise etc.) and young people.

The programme will annually invite museums and third sector organisations from all over the UK to pair together and apply to become a Key Partner.

Each year, these Key Partners will shape the development and delivery of local arts and cultural projects and will be critical to the recruitment of young people into the programme. These co-designed projects will be unique to their locality, responding to a community need identified by the young people.

The programme aims to:

  • Remove some of the barriers to engagement that young people face within the cultural sector.
  • Create a sense of agency in young people that can be reflected into their communities.

What is a Key Partner?

A Key Partner consists of both a museum or cultural organisation and a third sector organisation working together to shape the development and delivery of the Where we are...programme.

The programme proposes new ways of working with national Key Partners, where decision-making is shared between the British Museum and the partner organisations. We would like to partner with organisations that recognise the many benefits that young people can offer, and ideally those who have worked collaboratively in a co-design process with young people.

What's involved?

Organisations from anywhere in the UK can apply to become our three Key Partners. With the support of the British Museum, each Key Partner will locally manage the recruitment of 10 young people and the co-production of a youth-led arts or cultural project.

We welcome submissions from museums of all types including natural history, science, technology, history and arts. Likewise, we welcome submissions from any registered third sector organisation that works with young people – there's no need to be an arts or cultural organisation to apply.

If applying as a museum or cultural organisation, you must include which local third sector organisation you propose to work with and vice versa. It will be best if you've approached them first before sending us your application.

Applications to become a Key Partner for 2023 are now open. The deadline for applications is Monday 6th February 2023 at 5:00pm.
For more information about the application and the programme, please join one of our application webinars being held on:

Download the application booklet:

Recruiting young people

The programme aims to engage a total of 30 young people each year to lead on the development and delivery of local arts or cultural projects. Where we are... provides young people with a range of experiences including project management, communication, creative problem-solving and networking. It also connects young people to a network of creative youth across the UK.

We're looking for young people who:

  • Are aged 16–24 of any background or experience. ​

  • Live anywhere in the UK (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland). ​  

  • Are willing and able to commit to approximately six months (an approximate participation time of 40 hours) for the co-production of local arts or cultural projects. There'll be flexibility in this time commitment depending on the young people and partner organisations.

  • Are under-served in the museum sector. This includes, but is not limited to, young people who identify themselves as: LGBTQIA+; from working class backgrounds; neurodivergent; disabled; having a migrant or refugee experience; from African Diaspora; from South, East and South East Asian diaspora; and/or ethnically diverse.

Those with no prior knowledge, interest, or experience in museums, galleries or the arts will be warmly welcomed.

How to apply

The third cohort of young people will be recruited through our three Key Partners from JuneAugust 2023. Young people's time and expenses will be fully covered, with a £30 stipend per session plus up to £10 for expenses. Please visit our webpage in May 2023 for more information on how to apply. 

Our 2022 Key Partners

Barnsley Museums and Jolly Good Communities

Barnsley Museums and Jolly Good Communities

Barnsley Museums is the museums service for Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council. It welcomes over one million visitors annually, caring for six historic sites, gardens and parkland, and significant collections of art, decorative art, archaeology, social history and archives.

Jolly Good Communities was set up in 2018 as a community interest company (CIC) and exists to engage, support and encourage local groups and individuals who are wanting to make a difference in their community. It supports local people to plan and organise community events and projects, building confidence and employability skills and improving community cohesion and wellbeing. This includes working with young people through the Jolly YOUth group.

Bury Art Museum and The Sunnywood Project

Bury Art Museum and The Sunnywood Project

Bury Art Museum and its collection belongs to the people of Bury. Located in the town's Cultural Quarter, it features an art gallery, a museum space and a contemporary sculpture centre. The Museum aims to provide an inclusive and engaging service to the local community through exhibitions, events, education and community projects. 

The Sunnywood Project is a non-profit arts and nature education consultancy provider and outdoor events organizer. They promote a love of the great outdoors through a variety of events, conservation and educational programmes that aim to stimulate a healthy lifestyle for those living in the North West and surrounding areas. Through these activities and bespoke programmes, they seek to nurture individual confidence and resilience to equip participants with the transferable skills needed for success in life.

Museum of the Home and Voyage Youth

Museum of the Home and Voyage Youth

The Museum of the Home explores the experience of domestic life from the 15th century to the present day. Based in 300-year-old almshouses in Hackney, East London, it aims to reveal and rethink the ways we live and what home means through exhibitions, events, collaborations, research and debates.

Voyage Youth is a social justice charity that aims to empower marginalised black young people and provide them with the self-awareness and motivation to transform themselves and their communities. Their mission is to encourage and assist young people to bridge the gap between their schools, communities, and industries in which they are underrepresented, while supporting young people to sustain successful and meaningful partnerships. It was established by the Black Police Association in 1998 in response to the Macpherson Report into the murder of Stephen Lawrence, which uncovered major failings in the police investigation and in the way Lawrence's family and his friend Duwayne Brooks were treated.

Young people creative projects 2021

Edinburgh is Not the Royal Mile

Ten young people in partnership with Edinburgh Young Carers and Museums & Galleries Edinburgh spent three months working on a creative response to their experience of Edinburgh city centre. The group created a virtual reality experience that took the viewer on a journey from a spot on the Royal Mile, a historic street at the heart of the Scottish capital, to a part of Edinburgh special to each young person. As a legacy, the project created 10 postcards that present an image of the young people's favourite places.

See Me As Me

See Me As Me

In partnership with Attenborough Arts Centre and Pedestrian, 12 young people from Leicester who identify as LGBTQ+ explored activism and social justice through making art. Their creative responses spanned poetry, drawing, music, ceramics, photography, filmmaking and performance. These were presented in a multidisciplinary display titled See Me As Me at the Attenborough Arts Centre on 4 December 2021.

Not My House

Not My House

In Leeds, 13 young people who identify as being from the African diaspora were invited to reflect on Harewood House's history of slavery and colonisation and bring new perspectives. In partnership with Harewood House Trust and Geraldine Connor Foundation and supported by Sable Radio, the group produced a film titled Not My House and wrote a collective poem on their reactions to Harewood House.