Case Study: Community Engagement - The Our Museum Approach
We are working with a diverse range of Community Partners to develop our volunteer programme and make volunteering at Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales relevant and accessible to all.
At St Fagans National History Museum we are working in partnership with a group of Community Partners under the Paul Hamlyn Foundation funded Our Museum initiative. Our Museum aims to bring communities and museums together to form active partnerships. The central focus of our work is to develop, embed and sustain volunteering at the Museum and create a ‘Community of Volunteers’. We are working with partners to help us meet this aim.
Our partners are from a varied mix of organisations ranging from small local charities, large national charities, educational institutions and government bodies. Each bring different skills and expertise to the mix and they all have a background in or experience of working and engaging with communities.
As part of this process we are working to develop new volunteering opportunities across the Museum including roles connected to exciting projects taking place as part of the large scale HLF redevelopment of St Fagans National History Museum. One such project is the building of the new Celtic Village, Bryn Eryr. This full scale replica building will be based on the remains of adjoining round houses from Bryn Eryr, an Iron Age settlement site in Anglesey. Volunteers and communities will be involved in all aspects of this project, from building the solid clay walls, to helping to grow the thatch to cover the roofs of the houses, to making replica objects, fixtures and fittings to furnish the interiors.
Work on this project has already begun with volunteers joining the Historic Buildings Unit and the Learning Department to learn traditional building and craft skills such as mixing clay to make clomb and making cordage that will be used in the house, from natural materials such as brambles and nettles. We are all very exciting to see how things develop as this is a truly community focused project to which volunteers will be central.