Look Up Leicester – Project Summary

Look Up Leicester – Project Summary
Look Up Leicester
This project aims to increase young people's pride in their city as they research and
highlight their favourite buildings.
Many young people in Leicester have an unusually low opinion of their home city and feel
that their future prospects will be defined by whether they mange to escape from or get
stuck here. This lack of pride can impact on their self-esteem, self-confidence and
aspirations for the future.
Our project is not simply a lesson in architectural history, but will encourage a group of
young people to look above the standard corporate shopfronts at the buildings that shape
their city and that display civic and corporate pride.
The young people will choose and photograph their favourite buildings, interview owners
and tenants to understand their histories, and encourage other people to join them in their
appreciation of Leicester's skyline. A dedicated website will host all the information they
gather and an exhibition will further promote the project.
A key feature of the promotion of the project will be the use of a high-pressure washer and
a stencil to create 'clean graffiti' on the pavement encouraging passers-by to "Look Up
The project is funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund under their Young Roots
Grant scheme. As such, the development of ‘heritage’ skills is a fundamental part of the
Working with other organisations
Although the bulk of this project will be delivered by FOCUS, it is our intention to work
closely with other organisations to enhance the quality of the experience of the young
Leicester Civic Society, through their ‘encyclopedic’ knowledge of the city’s buildings, will
provide an important source of historical facts, figures and anecdotes from which the
young people will be able to develop a good sense of how the city’s built environment
developed over time and the socio-economic factors that have shaped it.
The Royal Institute of British Architects will provide architectural expertise and links to the
architectural, construction and creative industries and help the young people to
understand the design and building processes that have influenced, and continue to
influence, architecture and building.
The East Midlands Oral History Archive will provide training to the young people in
generating and recording oral histories to bring the buildings to life.
FOCUS Charity
Based in Leicester, FOCUS is dedicated to improving the life chances of young people.
Founded in 1988 by two university students, we have supported over 18,000 young people
to develop their skills, self-confidence and self-esteem through our innovative projects and
This prospectus offers a brief introduction to who we aim to support, our working methods,
and the impact we have.
Our Vision
Our vision is of a society in which young people feel inspired and empowered to have a
positive impact in their communities
Our Mission
FOCUS supports young people to develop the skills, confidence and aspirations to lead
fulfilling lives and to make a positive contribution to their communities.
Our Values
Central to the success of all our work are four basic values:
 Young people-centred - we are committed to supporting young people on their terms
and in the ways that best suit their needs.
 Passion - we have a passion for working with young people and developing positive,
trusting and supportive relationships with them.
 Innovation – we create innovative, high quality activities that are inspiring and engaging
for young people and for our staff and volunteers.
 Commitment – our staff and volunteers have the skills and commitment to ‘make it
happen’, to find the right solutions and to deliver results.
These values are supported by a belief that our lives are not pre-determined and that our
destinies are in our own hands. The decisions we make will determine the direction our
lives take. This is true for all people, but is especially important for young people making
the transition to adulthood. Important decisions are most often taken following key
moments and events in our lives.
At FOCUS we believe that our work provides such key moments for the people with whom
we come into contact. We must always believe that we are about to be presented with an
opportunity to ‘switch on a light’ and support someone in making an important life decision.
Therefore, if we carry out our duties with passion, innovation and commitment, and with
young people at the centre of our work, we can have a significantly positive effect on their
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