Family Fortunes workshop held at the People's History Museum
Family Fortunes workshop held at the People's History Museum

Family Fortunes Workshop, People’s History Museum, 14th March 2012

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Kids in Museums volunteer Laura Archer reports back on her first event volunteering for us, getting stuck in to our Family Fortunes workshop held in Manchester earlier in March….

On Wednesday 14th March, The People’s History Museum in Manchester hosted the latest Kids in Museums Family Fortunes workshop. Over 20 delegates came from far and wide – Anne Scott from Kilmartin House Museum on the west coast of Scotland holding the current record for distance travelled! We met to discuss and share ideas on how to make museums more welcoming to parents and children.

Sue Benson from The Market Family and Janet Uttley from VisitEngland presented fascinating insights into the current status of family life and recreational time, both emphasizing how important the offer of a stress-free, safe and friendly environment is for parents when they are looking for somewhere to spend quality time with their children. Several other speakers from museums and galleries then gave short five minute ‘blasts’, packed with great information about how they’ve made their institutions more family-focussed, from Snack Mats and object handling, to fancy dress costumes for the adults… as well as the kids.

The room then broke up into smaller groups during the afternoon, where discussion continued to flow and time moved too quickly for the amount of ‘bright ideas’ that were generated by each group.

This was my very first Kids in Museums event that I’ve been involved with as a volunteer. I arrived not knowing what to expect, and slightly daunted by the prospect of having to help lead a discussion group. Within minutes, however, I was completely drawn in by the bubbly and enthusiastic atmosphere, and gripped by the brilliant presentations. I left totally bowled over by the sheer generosity and willingness of everyone to help each other – there was no guarding of ideas here. Overall, a truly inspiring day and one definitely worth catching the early train for!

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