Weston Park in Sheffield accept their Guardian Family Friendly Museum Award 2008
Weston Park in Sheffield accept their Guardian Family Friendly Museum Award 2008

Award winners 2008 – Weston Park Museum

Weston Park Museum, Sheffield, won the Guardian Family Friendly Museum Award 2008. Four generations from one family – from the great-grandmother to her great-grandchildren – judged Weston Park and found it came out top for family-friendliness to all ages. Every generation found something for them.

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‘Weston Park has shown it doesn’t just target teenagers or concentrate on finger painting for toddlers. It’s proved to be a truly crossover museum, appealing to both adults and children,’ said Dea Birkett, Director of Kids in Museums. ‘It’s the Harry Potter of the museum world.’

Thank you all for your nominations for the Award. It was a tough job drawing up the shortlist.

The 2008 Award was bigger and better than ever – attracting hundreds of high quality nominations from the very North of Scotland to the South-West tip of England. Each demonstrated the remarkable, innovative work of Britain’s museums and galleries working to ensure everyone, of every age, feels more welcome.

This wealth of entries was whittled down by an expert judging panel. The judges commented on how high quality the entries were. “The family-friendly bar is rising,” said Anra Kennedy, Head of Learning at Culture24.

The judges also noted how many were using the Kids in Museums Manifesto as a practical, visitor-led tool in assessing their family-friendliness.

Kids in Museums Director, Dea Birkett, commented that you can’t make presumptions about about what children will enjoy. The five shortlisted museums hardly have a single dinosaur bone between them, demonstrating that it’s not the collection but what you do with it that counts.

The five-strong shortlist was:

Dulwich Picture Gallery
Manchester Art Gallery

Shetland Museum

Weston Park Museum, Sheffield

Wolverhampton Art Gallery

Read more about the award and Weston park in The Guardian’s announcement.

Read more about the entries in this Guardian article and join the discussion in the Arts Blog.

The judging panel consisted of:

Liz Forgan, Chair Heritage Lottery Fund and the Scott Trust
Mark Taylor, Director, Museums Association
Anra Kennedy, Head of Learning, Culture24
Melissa Denes, Arts Editor, Guardian
Mark Brown, Arts Correspondent, Guardian

Museums testify to the immense difference winning the Guardian Family Friendly Museum Award has made. Past winners reveal the secret of their success in the Guardian


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“Being on the panel of judges for the Kids museum awards was a great experience.The best thing about it was that as kids we had the chance to have our say about what we liked and didn’t like. I think that awards like this are important as they will help to encourage other children to visit museums especially if they have the seal of approval from people their own age.” Iona Perkins, Award judge.

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