Out & About – Ripon Museums Outreach Programme
We have a unique trio of museums – a Victorian workhouse, Georgian courthouse and Regency prison – telling stories of social justice that have huge relevance today.
Our outreach programme is designed to bring our museums to people who find it hard to access them, through lack of funds or rural and social isolation, and through age or learning difficulties. We use stories, costumes, collection objects and innovative techniques to engage participants. Our programme has two strands:
Targeting schools in socially and economically deprived areas, with high levels of EAL (English as an Alternative Language)
“Thanks you so much for an amazing experience for our children today – they have benefited hugely. Throughout the day the children contributed amazing thoughts guided by the leaders”.
Gledhow Primary, Leeds.
Focusing on rural and social isolation, targeting older people living isolated lives and adults with learning difficulties
“All very interesting! Excellent information about the past, everyone enjoyed the fingerprinting session.”
“The group thoroughly enjoyed the session, an insight into the past. Great interaction with those leading the session.”
Ripon Community Link
Our community outreach project has been running since April 2018, with the aim of taking our history, stories and objects out into the communities of North Yorkshire.
Our focus has been on older, isolated people in rural areas and people with learning disabilities. In taking our museums out to these groups, we have given them an insight into and connection to their local history, which they wouldn’t have been able to access otherwise. This lack of access could be for many reasons, including the reduction of public transport or a lack of carers. Evoking memories, learning new information and bringing Ripon Museums to life in the community has been a successful and insightful journey to date.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we have also delivered outreach sessions online via Zoom. In future, our programme will be a combination of in person and digital activity, depending on the needs of each group.
The project is co-ordinated by Anna Cross, Community Outreach Officer, alongside four volunteers who help to deliver the sessions. The sessions are based around the themes of a Workhouse, Victorian Crime & Punishment and Grannie’s Cures. Not only do the sessions touch on the facts and stories but they are highly interactive including handling a range of objects, which evoke the senses and help people reminisce. Items include carbolic soap, a rattle, oakum, hair straighteners and laundry items. We also run a ‘Guess the Grannie’s Cure Through Smell’ quiz at the end of the session, which has been highly popular.
If you would like to book an outreach session, call Anna Cross on 01765 690799 or email [email protected]