The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) recently awarded a grant to Royal Holloway, University of London. The grant amounts to £485,500 and will serve the ambitious Citizens project. Citizens is a £1 million project that aims to inform the populace of what is means to be a citizen. It has been developed from a partnership between Royal Holloway College, Egham Museum, and The Magna Carta School.
The project will take users on a history journey by employing community engagement activities, support materials, and digital resources. It will touch on some of the major historical events including but not limited to the sealing of the Magna Carta and the suffragettes. Through this, Royal Holloway College and the University of London hopes to better inform the citizens about the history of reforms, protests, and liberty. As such, they will be able to understand how these and other aspects shaped their lives as they are today.
The Principal of Royal Holloway College, Professor Paul Layzell reiterated the importance of the project to the institution’s history. He pointed out that the two founders of Royal Holloway College were themselves social reformers who sought to provide higher education opportunities to women. He added that higher learning is key to personal liberty, freedom of speech and recognising civil responsibilities.
The Citizens project’s goal is to further the education that commenced following Magna Carta celebrations in 2016. Other institutions that support the project include The Historical Association, The AQA Exam board, The History of Parliament Trust, People’s History Museum, The Parliamentary Archives and the National Justice Museum among others. The University will host an annual Festival of History beginning in June 2017.
The Citizens project will oversee the development of a number of forums and resources for discussing, debating and learning. These will include an educational website with video resources as well as a network of regional researchers and museum partners. Moreover, Constitutional Conventions will be held where the youth will be tasked with drafting clauses for a present-day Magna Carta after extensive debate. The drafts will be exhibited in the Supreme Court.