Inspiring people, Changing lives is the vision of Amgueddfa Cymru (National Museum Wales). It captures its aspirations to break down barriers for young people and those in most need, and to increase participation and representation for all.
Amgueddfa Cymru is comprised of seven free-entry national museums. Last year they welcomed a record 1.8 million visitors. The facilities are home to over five million objects and memories from a national collection of art, history, heritage and environmental science.
Amgueddfa Cymru is also the largest provider of learning outside of the classroom in Wales. With the support of players of People's Postcode Lottery, it welcomes over 200,000 schoolchildren and students and reaches over 600,000 adults and children in family groups each year through its educational and learning programmes.
Like so many other organisations, Amgueddfa Cymru was forced to close its public spaces in March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the subsequent months, player support has been instrumental in helping to ensure that the Museum continues to support the many educational bodies, community partners and families that it works with.
This support has enabled the Museum to offer more in-depth learning opportunities with communities in their immediate locality, as well as to introduce digital initiatives which have had a broader reach across the whole of Wales and beyond. Some recent examples of this includes:
- Engaging with schools through Minecraft your Museum, a competition the Museum organised for schools to recreate their ideal museum using Minecraft software.
Danielle Cowell, Learning, Participation & Interpretation Manager at the National Roman Legion Museum, said, "Many parents told me that their children were only interested in playing Minecraft and they wished they could do something more constructive. Around the same time, Hwb [a digital platform for learning and teaching in Wales] released a free educational version of Minecraft to all children in Wales. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to offer an educational project involving Minecraft."
Over 100 entries were received from across Wales and beyond and the standard was exceptionally high. Winners have won a future trip for themselves and their classmates to an Amgueddfa Cymru site, and the competition has been shortlisted for the Kids in Museums 'Family Friendly Museum from Home' award in 'Best Social Media Activity'.
- Reaching out to families through the Museums family summer holiday offer. One thousand creative packs with activities inspired by Amgueddfa Cymru's collections were created and sent to families across Wales.
- Engaging with early years through the Museums Digital Toddler Time. Online content for toddlers and their carers aims to replace the real live toddler times that usually happens in the Museums learning spaces weekly.
- Supporting wellbeing and tackling isolation through Amgueddfa Cymru's Objects of Comfort campaign. Each week a different theme and related Museum collections inspire a range of sensory, music and hands-on activity that can stimulate isolated, less mobile people and those living with dementia to be more active and engaged.
Between October 2019 and June 2020, our players helped Amgueddfa Cymru to engage with a total of 285,327 people through its learning programmes.