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Kirklees Museums & Galleries

Kirklees Museums and Galleries Service manages and maintains three museums, two historic houses, an art gallery and a country park along with a huge collection of objects, photographs, sound recordings and fine and decorative art held in trust for the people of Kirklees. The service works to share and celebrate the rich and diverse heritage of Kirklees and our wider world by creating unique experiences and providing public places of inspiration. We offer an innovative range of activities, events, exhibitions and lifelong learning opportunities for all. Our new ‘Museum in a Box’ loan scheme allows organisations, groups and schools greater access to the museum collections and helps to encourage conversations and memories and to inspire and enhance community projects. A range of volunteer opportunities in our museum sites and country park are organised by our ‘Friends’ groups and other commissioned organisations to enable people to learn and gain new skills.

18 October 2015
Yorkshire and Humber
Local Authorities
Local Alliances:
Kirklees Dementia Action Alliance, Yorkshire & Humber 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?

Kirklees Museums and Galleries are based in Batley, Birstall, Dewsbury, Gomersal and Huddersfield, along with 110 acres of Country Park at Oakwell Hall are all accessible and friendly places which are open to all.The museums are situated within public parks which provide visitors the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors in safe environments. The exhibitions and displays within the museums and galleries can provideexperiences which stimulate memories and conversation.

The Museum in a Box Loan Scheme offers a range of themed boxes each containing a variety of multi-sensory objects to help stimulate discussion. The boxes also contain information and ideas about how to make the best use of the objects in reminiscence sessions and are an effective way of reaching those living with dementia. We are working with partners towards holding Dementia Cafes at the museums and galleries which will support people with dementia and their carers.

The Heritage and Wellbeing project is an externally funded project which aims to demonstrate the impact of heritage on well-being. It will explore the potential of making significant contributions to health and wellbeing of our existing and new audiences by maximising the unique resources of buildings and collections in Kirklees Museums and Galleries. The outcome of the project will be a pilot of some new activities, some new and further developed partnerships and a Museums & Wellbeing Plan which will be delivered over the next two years.

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

Budget constraints and staff capacity. Being able to train staff to deliver new initiatives alongside other commitments. The museums and galleries are open to the public and school groups, therefore capacity in the galleries and rooms can sometimes be limited.

2. Actions

  • Dementia Awareness

    To provide dementia awareness training for front of house staff, Friends of Museums groups and volunteers. This will be in the form of dementia friends and appropriate online learning resources.

  • Heritage & Wellbeing Project

    To work with partners and volunteers to pilot and deliver new activities such as Dementia Cafes, and evaluate their sustainability and to develop a Health & Wellbeing strategy in the Museums action plan.

  • Museum in a box

    To develop further resource boxes with various themes to support those living with Dementia.

    Continue to raise awareness of the resources available to partner agencies, services and the wider community and how the Museum in a Box can be used effectively to support those living with dementia.