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Royal Armouries Museum

The Royal Armouries is Britain’s national museum of arms and armour and one of the most important museums of its type in the world. The museum displays over 8,500 artefacts which are split into five galleries; war, tournament, hunting, oriental and self-defence. Our education team are in the galleries, daily, delivering informal tours, combat demonstrations, handling collections and acted pieces. The museum has visitors from all walks of life including families, history enthusiasts and schools for our education programme. Our organisations purpose is to excite and educate the public about arms and armour and their impact on Britain and the wider world.

4 May 2017
Yorkshire and Humber
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?

We are ideally placed to deliver a Memory Café that both enables social integration and offers variety to the user. A Dementia Café in the museum has been trialled since November 2014 and we are keen to relaunch the café in the near future. There is strong evidence to indicate an improvement in cognitive function when people diagnosed with Dementia engage in an arts/cultural activity and many of our staff would be delighted to bring out handling collections to facilitate conversation, learning and memories of the past. Objects and ephemera from history can help spark conversation and allow people to engage in conversation about their own history, this can allow for a social experience which otherwise may not have been possible. Our organisation is willing to take out collections to other sites allowing people with dementia to experience our object in a familiar environment.            

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

Due to staff capacity a regular outreach programme can be difficult to maintain, many staff in the museum are also unaware of dementia and what the organisation can do to help.

2. Actions

  • Improve staff awareness of Dementia

    Our dementia representative is going to attend dementia training days and cascade the information down to other staff members in the organisation.

  • Create outreach memory boxes

    Following best practice from National Museums Liverpool we intend to create memory boxes as a resource for residential homes and day care centres. These could include paper ephemera and handling objects. 

    Initial Scoping
  • Outreach café visits

    The Royal Armouries are happy to send out staff with bespoke handling collections to existing dementia café’s. This is to help engage people with our collection within an environment which feels familiar and safe.