Since November 2010 Harry has been working with the Centre for Social Action at De Montfort University, evaluating the successes of the People and Place Programme in Museums. The programme, commissioned by the British Museum, attempted to increase the number of young people visiting, volunteering and creating exhibitions for museums around Britain. Involving young people in our society is one of Harry’s main beliefs as a social activist and as an MYP representing Sheffield’s young.
In Harry’s role as an Associate Research Assistant at the university, he was fortunate enough to visit several museums in the programme. With a team of other researchers, Harry looked at whether youth participation was embedded within museum policy, and if through that, there had been real institutional change.
Harry commented: “I’ve been lucky, throughout my years as an MYP to witness some great examples of young people getting involved in their communities, and their communities embracing them and their work. Young people can, and do, make a great contribution to their local area and nationwide. One example of a national campaign would be The Bite Back Campaign – which I was pleased to work on, aimed to ban the controversial mosquito device. This achieved success nationally largely due to local networks of young people campaigning in their cities and towns. In the museum evaluation, we were looking at the same idea with a belief that local action by young people should be heard and recognised in museums across the entire country”
In addition to this work with the People and Place programme, Harry is today attending an event in Leicester concerned with the treatment of young people held in custody. The “U R Boss” evaluation is work being undertaken by the Centre for Social Action at DMU that looks at the Howard League for Penal Reform’s project.