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Our Museum One Year On

Community Partners volunteering at St Fagans
Engagement Team meeting
Painting the Ely Caerau Mural
The Ely Caerau Mural
The Ely Caerau Mural

As we near the end of Year 1 of Our Museum I thought it would be a good time to make up for lost postings.

It’s been an interesting and innovative year at St Fagans, not least due to the impact and effects of Our Museum on the way we do things. I’ve not been around for the whole journey, having only joined the Museum in August, but I’ve picked up a lot of what went before and haven’t stopped learning since day one. I now feel fully immersed in all things Our Museum and very at home at St Fagans and within National Museum Wales.

Our Engagement Team for Our Museum, made up of nine Community Partners, several Museum staff members and four Museum Trustees, has become a very strong and robust group where trust, knowledge and laughs are shared openly.

We have spent a lot of time working on the project journal, through using different media such as on line communication via Teamwork PM, filming and photographing meetings and events, taking part in active reflection sessions and workshops during meetings and developing our self evaluation tool for the project.

"Despite positive experiences of dealing with St Fagans and volunteers via my organisation Quest, I admit I was a little cynical when I first heard about the nature of the project. This was mainly, I think, because of my impressions over the years of being a visitor. I love St Fagans, but as a visitor I always felt that it was a place apart from me and the way I live. I couldn't give you concrete examples of why I felt like this, perhaps it was because I never saw myself reflected in the staff I met on my way around. Oddly, I felt a sense of relief when I joined the community partners because I discovered that it wasn't only me that felt like that! And more than this, that the organisation recognised it as well and wanted to change it. This, more than anything, has already made me feel that St Fagans is more open to the local community."

Extract from Teamwork posted 08.10.12 by Community Partner Quest Supported Employment

We are looking forward to moving into Year 2 with lots of plans for future work. The building of Bryn Eryr, the new Celtic Village at St Fagans, based on the Iron Age site in Anglesey, is due to start in May. This will be a community focused project and will involve many volunteers. To prepare for this project and future developments at St Fagans we have introduce a staff training programme with the support of our Community Partners, focusing on key areas of working with and supporting people, such as Language, Communication and Working with ESOL Learners and Mental Health Awareness. The training has been very popular with staff and individual departments have requested it be rolled out further. We look forward to developing more training opportunities for Museum staff and Community Partners in Year 2.

So all in all it’s been a good year. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of Our Museum and working at St Fagans. It is a wonderful environment to work in and the exciting developments that are happening at the moment make for a very exciting few years in which Our Museum will have a large role to play.



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