After much excitement and waiting (trust us, it was hard to keep this a secret), We Don’t Settle can finally announce that we have been awarded £166,133 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to focus on building critical organisational resilience in the next 16 months. The project is called WDS Fit for The Future, and the work has begun since October 2023. 

It’s an incredible time of change for We Don’t Settle, and it’s exciting that we will be able to build with our community to continue delivering and consolidating impactful change. We’d sincerely like to thank everyone who’s been part of the journey so far and, of course, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Lottery players for playing a huge role in us going forward.  

Over the course of the past year, we’ve embarked on simultaneously delivering impact through our projects that challenge the status quo for minoritised young people, platforming their stories in the heritage and arts sector while also transitioning from being a hosted project to full independence. 

We have worked closely with stakeholders, partners, Board members and young people to figure out how we’ll best utilise the opportunities presented by the resilience fund. The resilience fund enables us to react to the needs of Young People of Colour and others who are minoritised by society and structures, and dig deeper, laying foundations to support them to excel.  

While we’re all about celebrating and nurturing growth, we’ve also been open with our community about the challenges we face, because honesty and transparency are pillars of our mission. Our aspiration is to co-produce the entire programme to make sure the impact we want to drive is truly sustainable and meaningful for young people.

This resilience investment is a significant contribution to us building the foundations we need to further our work into decolonising the heritage sector with young minoritised people as co-creators, thinkers, consultants, makers, and audiences. 

Co-Chairs Rachel Nöel and Chris Sudworth spoke about the key need of The National Lottery Heritage Fund support:

‘The support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund will help We Don’t Settle to further develop our vision, strategy, and team, and to co-create a brighter, bolder and more impactful future with the young people we exist for.’



“We’ve been thinking about key strategic priorities. How do we further create a sustainable, creative and meaningful workplace both for our staff and young people? We want to really focus on talking about and to young people and how we position as an organisation in the decolonisation movement. “- We Don’t Settle team


Here’s a quick little breakdown of the four streams we’ll be using the funding for.

1. Business Review/Planning. We will review We Don’t Settle as a regional organisation, including in the context of the work of other heritage organisations and activities. 

2. Principles, Frameworks and Methods. We will research/create in-depth guides to involving and supporting minoritised young people in heritage, filling critical gaps where young people need help with information and confidence.

3. Capacity Building. A formal skills audit of staff, board and Youth Steering Committee will provide foundations of a capacity-building delivery plan, linking individual needs to emerging organisational needs. 

4. Evaluation and Learning. Excellence in learning is very much cross-cutting within our programme design. We will review and redesign our existing approaches to create a joined-up monitoring, evaluation, learning and action model.


Here’s what members of our Youth Steering Committee have to say about receiving the fund and why they feel it’s pivotal for The National Lottery Heritage Fund to invest in us to become more sustainable. 

“We believe the resilience fund will impact We Don’t Settle exponentially. For us, WDS is a space where every voice of minoritised young people matters. It’s a space that tells young people to come as they are, feel empowered and go from drawing board to action, carving out an opening in decolonisation work, as well as in heritage and culture spaces. WDS is a catalyst within these spaces. Resilience funding will aid this important work further, and we’ll continue to change the game, co-producing with us, for us and our wider communities. We’re incredibly excited to be part of this journey  on helping such key organisation for us, become more resilient.”


We Don’t Settle cultivates creativity, and embraces cultures, it transforms minoritised young people’s journeys and we’re only just getting started. Make sure to be following us across our socials to check out everything we’ll be getting up to! 

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

As the largest dedicated funder of the UK’s heritage, The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s vision is for heritage to be valued, cared for and sustained for everyone now and in the future, as set out in our strategic plan, Heritage 2033. 

Over the next ten years, we aim to invest £ 3.6 billion raised for good causes by National Lottery players to bring about benefits for people, places and the natural environment.  

We help protect, transform and share the things from the past that people care about, from popular museums and historic places, our natural environment, and fragile species, to the languages and cultural traditions that celebrate who we are. 

We are passionate about heritage and committed to driving innovation and collaboration to make a positive difference to people’s lives today while leaving a lasting legacy for future generations to enjoy.  


Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund 


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