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Norfolk Museums Service

Norfolk Museums Service (NMS) is a multi-award winning service comprising ten museums and a study centre. The Service aims to inform and inspire people’s interest in the cultural and natural heritage of Norfolk, and address relevant contemporary issues by: • Collecting, preserving and interpreting material evidence of the past • Stimulating creativity, inspiration and enjoyment • Providing an enjoyable way to learn throughout life • Engaging with the widest possible audience • Enriching people’s lives and creating a sense of place and identity • Enabling people to understand and value other cultures The Museum of Norwich is part of this family, and will be the Dementia Friendly Champion within NMS, piloting new ways of working and cascading learning and best practice to the other museums in the service. The Museum of Norwich is a friendly community history museum which tells the story of Norwich and its people. Following on from a £1.4m investment and extensive public consultation programme, the museum re-opened its doors to the public with in 2012, offering ten new galleries, new accessible facilities and lifts to all floors. www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk

20 November 2018
East of England
Local Alliances:
Norwich City 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?

The Museum of Norwich aims to be the first dementia-friendly museum in the city, building on ten years’ experience of working with older people to offer even more opportunities to improve wellbeing for local residents.

In 2007, we began working to improve our services for older people, piloting the now highly successful memory kits service with NLIS as well as developing other outreach activities. Between 2008 and 2012, we embarked on a major refurbishment, as detailed above.

 Now we are seeking to improve this access and engagement further, by improving our welcome and services to older people and their families.  Most recently, we have been working in partnership with Norfolk County Council Adult Social Services and the Adult Education Team to consult directly with older people and local organisations to inform our planning. In January 2016, we hosted a Dementia Friendly Museum Consultation Day attended by representatives from a range of organisations including The Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK Norfolk and Pabulum Café as well as people living with dementia and their supporters. The purpose was to gather feedback to inform an action plan, establish a support network for the project and provide ideas for future funding. Participants also trialled a prototype gallery resource aimed at enabling people with dementia and their families or enablers to better engage with the museum’s collections. Feedback was informative ranging from improvements to signage, lighting and way marking as well as more general comments about the displays. One participant simply stated, “Tell us that you welcome us.” This has become our museum mantra. Since the initial consultation day the Museum of Norwich has been working with other partners, trialling sessions with older people from local day care centres and care homes, to explore different ways of testing ideas and enhancing the museum experience.

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

The museum is actively seeking funding to create additional resources to fund its in-house programme.

NMS actively welcomes feedback form its visitors in order to improve its services.

2. Actions

  • Promote a dementia friendly workforce.

    We will train our team at the Museum of Norwich in Dementia Awareness, to ensure we offer a friendly, welcoming and positive service to all our older visitors and their families.


    2017 - First Quarter Update

    We have offered our first round of Dementia Awareness Training to our staff, including colleagues from our Front of House, Learning and Volunteer teams. 10 people attended our first session and feedback was very positive.

  • Review our services and adapt a dementia friendly environment

    We will conduct an audit of our environment and services at the Museum of Norwich and implement areas for improvement.

  • Join & promote the Norwich City Dementia Action Alliance

    We will join the Norwich City Dementia Action Alliance and promote our membership and encourage other local organisations to join.


    2017 - First Quarter Update

    So far due to staffing pressures, we have sadly been unable to attend a Board Meeting, however we have been following progress with interest and joining in with initiatives.

    We have purchased stickers to go in our front window as well as lanyards for staff etc, to show we are on board!

    Our Head of Service, Head of Learning and Community Curator attended the Launch event in January. It was great to see so many organisations involved and see what everyone was up to.

  • Championing best practice across the Museums Service

    The Museum of Norwich will become a Dementia Friendly champion within Norfolk Museum Service, and will cascade best practice and training to other museums in the service.


    2017 - First Quarter Update

    We have had meetings with key colleagues within Norfolk Museums to explore how best to widen the offer of Dementia Awareness Training to Front of House and Learning Teams. This planning is ongoing.

  • Programming

    We will develop and pilot a series of Dementia Friendly activities, informed through consultation with older people.


    2017 - First Quarter Update

    We have been offering a free monthly welcome walk for people living with memory loss and their friends and families. We have been advertising these through the Norwich Museums' What's On Brochure, NMS website, EDP listings and through Age UK Norwich's digital channels. Take up however has been low so we are currently reassessing our marketing strategy and fundraising for a new specific leaflet for distribution locally, with the advcie from Age UK Norwich.