Illuminate Uk - Case Studies - Further Information

Projects working with children & young people

Community Engagement at Trinity House Maritime Museum

Illuminate UK Educational Workshop at Trinity House Maritime Museum

Having set up a Junior Tour Guide scheme in this fascinating museum in the heart of Leith we were approached by Historic Scotland to develop the project further. We were asked to look at how we could actively involve and engage with the local community — raising awareness of the fascinating Collection of maritime objects which are housed there and are central to the story of the people of Leith.

Working with Historic Scotland we are in the process of developing a themed journey around the House for visiting children, creating new resources and activities and re-designing the education area to transform the rather dingy vaults into a lively maritime adventure themed space. We are actively contacting local community groups and schools to invite them in to experience workshops and tours. We are also working with Historic Scotland to create a short film so that the story of the House can be taken out to those who might find this historic site difficult to access.

Trinity House is a hidden secret gem in the centre of Leith and we are delighted to be sharing the secret!

EKOSGEN

illuminate uk students

Illuminate was contracted by EKOSGEN, the economic development consultancy, to carry out research on behalf of the Scottish Government, into Early Years Services. The final published report was entitled "Perspectives on Early Years Services: Qualitative Research With Service Users" and informed the Government's Early Years Framework — a 10 year strategy addressing the needs of families with children from pre-birth to age 8.

The Scottish Government were keen to know what users thought of the services on offer to the under 8s throughout the country — both children and their families. EKOSGEN approached Illuminate asking how we could conduct research with 2-8 year olds to find out what they thought and felt about every day experiences and services like childcare, play and leisure facilities, education and health care.

Karen created a series of workshops according to the different age brackets involved which would allow the children to be active participants and to express their views through techniques such as role play, musical statues, tableaux, drawing and storytelling.

Karen and Callan travelled the country delivering 22 interactive workshops in nurseries, schools and after school clubs and were delighted to have been able to assist the children in contributing their views and experiences to this important piece of work.

National Trust for Scotland — pARTicipate project

Illuminate UK drama workshop at pARTicipate project

As part of the Advanced Higher Drama curriculum, pupils must write, direct and act in short plays based on a chosen theme which they have created themselves.

Illuminate and the National Trust for Scotland worked with the Holy Rood High School Drama dept to allow pupils access to the most wonderful themes and theatre sets conceivable — being inspired by and working in NTS' actual properties. One project was based from Newhailes House and the other the Georgian House.

Using visits to the properties as the inspiration for their creative writing the pupils wrote and directed short plays set in the properties themselves. The pupils drew ideas from events and stories they came across in their research of the lives of the people who inhabited or were connected to the properties and through knowledge of literature. The source material from which characters and plots were devised came from a wide range of literature including Ibsen's 'Ghosts', Shaw's 'Pygmalion', Wilde's 'Lady Windermere's Fan', Muriel Spark's 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' and the ever popular television series, 'Downton Abbey'.

Through this process the pupils gained a much deeper understanding of the style, culture and social norms which past generations lived in and with. Creating theatre in these beautiful historic houses was an invaluable experience for young theatre practitioners while also ensuring that the young people came to understand and appreciate the importance of their conservation for future generations.

Historic Scotland Junior Tour Guides

Illuminate UK Junior Tour Guides

In 2006 the Historic Scotland Education Unit approached Illuminate to discuss developing and expanding the successful Junior Tour Guide Scheme, which had run at Linlithgow Palace for a number of years.

The first step was to investigate what had made the scheme such a success in Linlithgow. Beautiful period costumes, exciting and useful presentation skills training, supportive school and site staff and a tour full of games, facts and fun for visiting children was the answer... So the Illuminate team have worked hard since then to ensure these elements are in place at all of the sites where we have set schemes up.

Since 2006 we have enjoyed setting up schemes, researching and writing scripts, project managing and training guides for eleven Historic Scotland sites.

Each site has its own tour/script specifically researched and prepared by the Illuminate team. We ensure that the children are given useful, meaningful and fun tour guide training and see the project right through, even putting in place site staff training, booking systems and evaluation techniques.

Summer 2009 saw an exciting extension to the initiative when we began working with S1-6 pupils from Linlithgow Academy to train former P7 Palace Guides to be volunteer tour guides at the Palace during their summer holidays. Illuminate manage the application and audition process for pupils wishing to be summer tour guides such is the popularity of the scheme with the young people of Linlithgow.

We are very proud that some of our former Junior Tour Guides have gone on to become staff and volunteers at various historic sites.

Projects working with businesses and all ages

National Trust for Scotland Staff and Volunteer Training

Workshop on beach at Culzean Castle for NTS guides and Rangers
Illuminate UK National Trust for Scotland Staff and Volunteer Training

We were initially approached by the Learning Manager at NTS to develop and deliver a 1 day training course for staff and volunteers increasing their ability and confidence in working with children and young people visiting NTS properties

Our active, informal, information packed course was such a hit that we ended up touring NTS properties up and down the country for 2 years — what a treat! Here is Karen delivering one of the courses for Rangers on the beach at Culzean Castle.

NTS invited us back to develop a further training course, this time looking at tour guide and storytelling skills for their guides and customer facing staff and volunteers. Once again these course were a great success and we were delighted to tour NTS properties around the country once again.

"Once again I appreciated the enjoyable stress free atmosphere, the clarity of information and delivery"
Guide, National Trust for Scotland

Mercat Tours

Karen was herself a tour guide with Mercat Tours of Edinburgh from 1995-2002, latterly also part of the award winning training and development team.

Karen has maintained close links with the company and has continued to deliver training and quality assessment from time to time. The company were particularly interested at looking at the link between performance and persona for their talented team of ghost tour guides. The company has won a series of awards and accolades for the quality of their guides and were keen to see how they could push the guides even further so that staff are equipped with the skills of an actor as well as a tour guide.

In consultation with one of the Mercat Company Directors, Karen developed a bespoke workshop looking at how drama, tension and vocal technique could be incorporated into their storytelling to improve the visitor's experience still further.

Historic Scotland Engaging With Your Customer

Karen has maintained close links with the company and has continued to deliver training and quality assessment from time to time. The company were particularly interested at looking at the link between performance and persona for their talented team of ghost tour guides. The company has won a series of awards and accolades for the quality of their guides and were keen to see how they could push the guides even further so that staff are equipped with the skills of an actor as well as a tour guide.

In consultation with one of the Mercat Company Directors, Karen developed a bespoke workshop looking at how drama, tension and vocal technique could be incorporated into their storytelling to improve the visitor's experience still further.