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Chelsea and Roxanne - the future of Welsh cultural heritage

​​​​​​​Two young women are putting their faith in Swansea's rich history to forge big futures for themselves.


Chelsea Thomas and Roxanne Bryan have started trainee posts in the city on a scheme that encourages people at the beginning of their careers to be part of a new generation telling the story of Wales.

As trainees on the Wales-wide Cultural Ambition Project, their learning locations will include Swansea's National Waterfront Museum.

Chelsea, aged 20, will also be based at Swansea Council's Swansea Museum and Swansea University's Egypt Centre.

Roxanne, aged 21, will also be based at the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust and Llanelli's Parc Howard Museum.

Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council's cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: "It's a real pleasure to have Chelsea and Roxanne on board; they're already making a positive impact as cultural heritage trainees.

"As Swansea celebrates 50 years as a city we're constantly reminded how our communities have a rich cultural history. Staff at our venues work hard to keep the heritage fresh, relevant, attractive and alive.

"This training programme is a great opportunity for a young person wishing to learn about working in the cultural heritage sector.

"I urge those interested to find out more about how they can apply for when applications next open."

Trainees spend a year on the project, based for a number of months at each of several cultural heritage sites. They receive a monthly bursary of £800. 

The programme covers a variety of skills and trainees progress towards an NVQ Level 2 Cultural Heritage qualification, delivered with support from Cardiff and Vale College.

Chelsea, of Swansea, studied for a BTEC award in health and social care at Gower College Swansea before volunteering for the Graft garden project at the National Waterfront Museum.

She said: "I love getting immersed in local heritage and family history so this opportunity is fantastic for me.

"Staff at Swansea Museum have been really welcoming; they're happy to give all the support I need."

Roxanne, of Pontyates, near Llanelli, studied for a BTEC award in forensic science at Lancashire's Blackpool and Fylde College before moving to Carmarthenshire last year.

Thanks to guidance from mental health charity Links Llanelli, she volunteered with the Salvation Army, and through the Prince's Trust she volunteered with Swansea's Llys Nini animal centre.

She said: "History astounds me so I'm excited to have this opportunity with the Cultural Ambition Project.

"I love learning about what people used to do and it amazes me that artefacts and objects can be preserved for so many years in the ground and in museums and galleries."

Chelsea and Roxanne began their traineeships this month (note: October).

The Cultural Ambition Project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Welsh Government's Museums, Archives and Libraries Division.

The project is administered and run by Creative & Cultural Skills. Cultural Ambition aims to support young people to gain experience and skills in the cultural heritage sector by creating 33 paid training placements at various sites across Wales.

The project is linked strongly with the Fusion: Creating Opportunities through Culture programme and the Andrews report Culture and Poverty.

Placement applications for the 2020 intake are likely to open next summer.

More info:

Pictured: Chelsea Thomas, left, and Roxanne Bryan.



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