We have enjoyed a busy and well-travelled week since our last posting from South Somerset District Council’s Community Heritage Access Centre, (CHAC) near Yeovil.
We started the week by providing historical information on the Barwick Follies for a Radio Broadcast and then the week was centred on attending two South West Federation of Museums events. The first was the West of England Learning Symposium at the American Museum in Britain at Claverton Down, near Bath. Staff attended with volunteers.
Around 80 delegates attended the Symposium where the theme was “Measuring the Impact of Learning.” We enjoyed speakers in the morning on the theme of evaluation, followed by Case Studies from Bristol Culture and the Corinium Museum, Cirencester.
After lunch we shared a facilitated workshop on providing evidence for funding applications and sessions on formal learning and community engagement. These tended to be smaller discussion groups of 4 to 5 delegates with 5 minutes for each speaker to outline a project they would like to realise within their museum and then the other people in the group to suggest ideas to help. The only problem was that most of the time was taken up discovering all the exciting things about each everyone’s museums!
The second event was “Making the Most of Working with Young People and Schools” at the Dorset History Centre, Dorchester, Dorset. The day’s agenda identified how different organisations currently work with young people; introducing RIO (Real Ideas Organisation) our Trainers for the day; working with schools and current relationships and links to the curriculum. We also enjoyed a case study from the Learning and Access Manager at Poole Museum.
This training was useful for CHAC to see what we currently do to help young people in our community, including work experience and the Yeovil College Degree Students, but also to suggest other opportunities, especially links between the collection and specific parts of the curriculum, including gloving, First Flight Over Everest and changes over time in Yeovil using photographs.
Intriguingly, we also had a thank you from a local Brownie Group following an activity we delivered, further strengthening our links with learning and young people.
Jack the Treacle Eater Folly, one of the Barwick Follies, photographed in the mid-1950s.