The Arm Community Fund awarded a grant to The Herbert Ellis Norris Library and Museum to deliver a regular programme of themed, multi-sensory activities to engage with harder to reach members of the community in Huntingdonshire.
The museum delivered a total of 54 sessions to those who would not normally engage with the museum due to a disability or mental health condition. The sessions were adapted to meet the needs of each group, helping them to try new activities and learn new skills, improving independence and confidence.
The project also enabled the museum to take their collection out to local groups, to help people experience the museum in a comfortable and familiar environment, without the potential stress associated with visiting unfamiliar places. Some groups now visit the museum independently to view temporary exhibitions and they feel confident to take part in drop-in activities at the museum.
The project has demonstrated that the museum has a varied programme of activities that can be adapted to any group and that the museum is a welcoming and accessible place for everyone to enjoy. It has helped to build a stronger link between the museum and the community and enabled wider participation.