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GSAL student scoops prestigious Young Interpreter Award

Monday 22 November 2021

Lihem, a 17 year old student from The Grammar School at Leeds has seen off national competition to win the first Association for Heritage Interpretation Young Interpreter Award as part of the bi-annual Engaging People Awards. The award celebrates the work of an inspirational young person who is actively engaging people with their heritage, nature, culture or science.

Lihem took part in a project called Represent in October 2020. Represent is part of an initiative called Ignite Yorkshire, set up and managed by creative education provider IVE, which aims to put young people at the heart of how Yorkshire’s industrial heritage is viewed, understood, enjoyed and looked after. This work is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Kick the Dust initiative.

The Represent project saw a group of young people working with Heritage Corner, the Geraldine Connor Foundation, local artists and curators to learn about the untold, hidden narratives of international trading links and connections with Britian’s colonial past at Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills.

Lihem’s contribution and skills as a young interpreter stood out because of her care to question, investigate and understand the waiting to be told stories in the museum collection. Represent unlocked other opportunities in interpretation for Lihem. She has since gone on to work with Leeds Museums and Galleries and artist, Carmen Okome, to create exhibits for the ‘Global Leeds’ part of the museum’s 200th Anniversary exhibition. Recently she joined a collection of young people working with Geraldine Connor Foundation at Harewood House on a British Museum programme called ‘Where We Are…’.

Marie Millward, project manager for Ignite Yorkshire at IVE said : Ignite Yorkshire is a region-wide partnership programme led by IVE with the aim to ignite a revolution in how Yorkshire’s industrial heritage is viewed, understood, enjoyed, and looked after by young people. We have worked with hundreds of brilliant young interpreters over the last three years of the Ignite Yorkshire project, but Lihem really stood out. She was keen to question why untold stories of trade and exploitation, that extend from Yorkshire across the world, were missing from Yorkshire’s industrial heritage.  And she demonstrated real consideration for those she was working within the process of telling difficult and potentially distressing stories. I am delighted that she has continued her interest in working on interpretation and has been recognised in the ‘Oscars’ of this field of work.’

A film about the Represent project can be viewed on YouTube  and more information about Ignite Yorkshire can be found at

Pictured: GSAL student, Lihem.


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