Leeds Museums and Galleries

The Leeds Museums and Galleries service of Leeds City Council operates nine sites across the city, each offering very different visitor experiences. Each museum site has different collections relating to Leeds history and the art gallery has some amazing traditional and contemporary artworks on show. There is a varied and changing exhibitions programme at most of the sites and lots of events, family activities, specialist talks and workshops are on offer. There are quiet spaces where visitors can sit down, some sites have gardens or parkland nearby or open and green spaces and they all have refreshments available apart from the Discovery Centre.

Updated:
18 April 2017
Location:
Yorkshire and Humber
Sectors:
Arts, Recreation
Local Alliances:
Leeds Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

Our sites attract older people and families, as well as schools and tourists. They are places where visitors can enjoy reminiscing, learn new things, explore cultural opportunities in safe places, meet friends and at some sites enjoy the café or quiet areas.  There is an opportunity (by arrangement) to participate in workshops and/or object handling sessions with the assistant community curators at our sites which can provide fantastic opportunities to share memories, tell stories and learn new things. People can also contribute to our community programme through our displays, oral histories and films. The sites are:

  1. Leeds Art Gallery | The Headrow Leeds LS1 3AA | 0113 2478256
  2. Leeds City Museum | Cookridge Street Leeds LS2 8BH | 0113 2243732
  3. Abbey House Museum |Abbey Road Leeds LS5 3EH | 0113 2305492
  4. Kirkstall Abbey | contact details as above
  5. Leeds Discovery Centre | Carlisle Road Leeds LS10 1LB | 0113 3782100
  6. Lotherton Hall and Estate | Lotherton Lane Leeds LS25 3EB | 0113 3782959
  7. Temple Newsam House | Temple Newsam Road Leeds LS15 OAE | 0113 3367461
  8. Thwaite Mills | Thwaite Lane Leeds LS10 1RP | 0113 3782983
  9. Leeds Industrial Museum | Armley Mills Canal Road Leeds LS12 2QF | 0113 3783173

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

We are a local authority run service and have to abide by certain health and safety rules and regulations. Some of our buildings are listed and we cannot make alterations to the fabric of the building or in some cases alter signage and lay-out.  We only have limited staffing and budgets and we do have restricted opening hours. The sites are also used by schools and families and sometimes this can alter the environment and atmosphere for visitors. Some of our sites also have restricted access to some areas due to their heritage status.        

2. Actions

  • Improve staff understanding and awareness of dementia in each of our galleries and museums

    We are arranging staff dementia awareness sessions at each site for customer-facing front-line staff, learning and access officers and community curators. This training to be cascaded to all Leeds Museums and gallery staff over the next 6 months.    

    Status:
    Planning
  • Dementia Friends Training and site developments

    The community engagement staff will all undertake the dementia friends training on-line and work to become dementia champions at their respective sites. Each site will look at how they can improve the visitor experience for people with dementia – e.g. setting aside quieter times for them to visit after schools have gone, looking at piloting specialist guided tours and seeking advice and guidance from the Alzheimer’s Society. 

    Status:
    Planning
  • Bespoke workshops and handling sessions

    The community staff will continue to offer opportunities for people living with dementia to participate in dedicated activities and projects such as ‘hands-on’ handling sessions both at site and in community settings (e.g. Memory cafes) to promote discussion, reminiscence and story-telling.  This could also  include people contributing their oral histories for our archives and ‘live’ exhibitions  

    Status:
    Being implemented
  • Peer Support

    The team will continue to work with Peer Support on the Cultural Partnership with Leeds Libraries, Adult Social Care and the West Yorkshire Playhouse, to sustain and develop a varied programme of activities and engagement for people living with dementia and their carers

    Status:
    Being implemented