The Egypt Centre is asking anyone who has visited or heard about it to help it win an award. Please sign up and become anonymous undercover museum judges and tell the judges how fantastic the Egypt Centre is. The museum is hoping to be crowned Britain’s most Family Friendly Museum.
For the first time Swansea’s Egypt Centre, museum of Egyptian antiquities based at Swansea University, has been shortlisted for the Family Friendly Museum Award run by Kids in Museums – the biggest museum award in Britain and the only one where children and families pick the winners.
The Egypt Centre Museum beat almost 100 other museums to make it to the ten-strong shortlist and the only one in south Wales.
A group of volunteers sifted through all the nominations and whittled them down to a shortlist. For the first time two museums from Wales made the shortlist, the Egypt Centre Museum in Swansea and Wrexham County Borough Museum.
The Egypt Centre is a small museum which puts on a big welcome for all families, of all shapes and sizes with a range of activities including hands-on mummification. It proves that the best museums don’t have to be massive; they just have to open up their fabulous collections to everyone.’
Over the summer, the shortlisted museums are road-tested anonymously by families, using the Kids in Museums Manifesto as a guide to their family friendliness.
Carolyn Graves-Brown, Curator of the Egypt Centre said: “ Our small team of staff and volunteers are thrilled to have been chosen from over 100 museums across Britain for this award.
“ We provide a wide range of fun, educational activities for all ages throughout the year, not only for visitors to the area but also to the local community.
“ We have also created a new under 5’s area for our younger visitors where families with small children play together, in a safe environment, with toys and musical instruments. They can have a go at puzzles and colouring sheets as well as dress up as ancient Egyptians together with both children and adult costumes available. We even set up an online gallery to show off art work left behind by our youngest visitors.
“ A variety of books for children are also available here including our own in-house produced story book based on a real ancient Egyptian story The Jumping Prince. This is also used when we run Under 5’s story time events. Parents and children sit together, listening to the story, playing musical instruments, preforming specific actions and rhyming together.
“ In addition we are extremely proud of our award winning young volunteers programme as no other museum in the UK is run by young people so completely.
Young volunteers can start from the age of 10 and volunteer each Saturday as well as during school holidays. They maintain the galleries, provide guided tours and demonstrate all the public activities we offer. The unique service they offer is very popular with family groups as the child volunteers create a more child friendly and welcoming atmosphere, provide peer learning to younger visitors and greatly enhance the sense of fun and excitement.
“ We hope that families, who have seen what our museum has to offer and the family friendly approach we take with all our activities, will get behind us and become undercover judges to help us win this prestigious award.”
Michael Sheen, actor and Patron of Kids in Museums, says, ‘It’s great to see an award where children and families pick the winner – giving them a powerful voice on what they want in a museum. Many museums in Wales are doing great work with families, in particular those who haven’t visited before, sharing and supporting new visitors to explore their heritage and culture. Fingers crossed one of them will win.’
To become an undercover museum judge nominations should be emailed [email protected]
The full shortlist for the 2016 Award is: Egypt Centre Museum of Egyptian Antiquities (Swansea), Hampton Court Palace (Greater London), Manchester Art Gallery, National Glass Centre (Sunderland), the Novium Museum (Chichester), River & Rowing Museum (Henley-on-Thames), Towner Art Gallery (Eastbourne), Weald & Downland Open Air Museum (West Sussex), Wrexham County Borough Museum, York Art Gallery.
Find out more about the Award at www.kidsinmuseums.org.uk/award
Follow the Award on Twitter @kidsinmuseums #FFMA16