Amgueddfa Blog

Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales has been recognised for its fun family activities during lockdown in the Family Friendly Museum Award From Home.

The museum was one of five museums awarded top prizes today in an online awards ceremony hosted by TV personalities, Philip Mould and Professor Kate Williams.

Charity Kids in Museums has held its annual Family Friendly Museum Award for the past 15 years, recognising the most family friendly heritage sites in the UK. This year the charity created a special award to celebrate the extraordinary effort museums made to adapt to lockdown and support families. They asked families and museums to share their favourite lockdown activities – whether it was a film, quiz, game, craft or something else!

Over 400 nominations for the award were sent in from all over the world. In July, an expert panel whittled down these nominations to a shortlist of 26 museums.

Over the summer, families tested out the activities and their feedback, along with an expert panel, decided the winners of each category.

Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales won the award for the Best Social Media Activity for the Minecraft Your Museum Competition. 

"We are delighted that this work was recognised! The work the children created by taking part was phenomenal! The effort they put into creating their own Museums was clearly evident and they had used so many skills to make them. More importantly all children said how much they enjoyed making their Museums and all of our judges enjoyed visiting them!" Danielle Cowell - Lead for Digital Learning at AC-NMW. 

Whilst the Minecraft Your Museum competition has finished you can still take part by creating your own Museum in Minecraft.

Download a resource pack here.

Please share your creations with us on social media - so others can enjoy!

Philip Mould, art dealer, broadcaster and Kids in Museums President, said: “It is a pleasure to today celebrate how museums and heritage sites have sprung into action and brought culture to families during this challenging time. What all our winners have in common is that they have managed to bring the best of museums to families at home. These projects not only helped them with home schooling, but also supported their wellbeing and helped them have fun together. Many congratulations to all our worthy winners.”

Here is the full list of families’ favourite lockdown activities:

 

Best Social Media Activity

Highly Commended

· Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft – Virtual Museum Club

Winner

· National Museum Wales – Minecraft your Museum

 

Best Film

Highly Commended

· University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge - Zoology Live! Online Festival

Winner

· Cooper Gallery, Barnsley - Wow Wednesdays

 

Best Website Activity

Highly Commended

· National Galleries Scotland – Home is Where the Art is

Winner

· National Videogame Museum, Sheffield – Create Your Own Pixel Art Character

 

Best International Digital Activity

Highly Commended

· Andy Warhol Museum, USA – Warhol Making It Videos

Winner

· The Glucksman, Republic of Ireland – Creativity at Home

 

Going the Extra Mile

Highly Commended

· Colchester and Ipswich Museums – Museum From Home Activity Packs

· Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books, Newcastle Upon Tyne – Something to Smile About: Supporting Families in East Newcastle

Winner

· The Whitworth, Manchester – Still Parents

Hello Bulb Buddies,

Schools from across the UK will be planting their bulbs as close to 20 October as they can. This means that most schools will be planting their bulbs tomorrow!

Click here for activities and resources that will help you with this part of the project and with looking after your bulbs over the coming months! 

These resources will help you on planting day:

  • Adopt your Bulb (an overview of the care your bulbs will need)
  • Planting your Bulbs (guidelines for ensuring a fair experiment)

And these activities are fun to complete:

  • Bulb Adoption Certificate
  • Make Bulb Labels

Please read the resources as they contain important information! For example, do you know to label your pot so that you know where the daffodil and crocus are planted?

Remember to take photos of your planting day to enter the Planting Day Competition!

Keep an eye on Professor Plant's Twitter page to see how planting day goes for other schools.

Best of luck Bulb Buddies! Let us know how you get on!

Professor Plant & Baby Bulb

For me and the rest of the staff at the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea, it seems inconceivable that 15 years have passed since we welcomed our first visitors on the 17th of October 2005. Although in human terms being 15 is well on the way to being a ‘grown-up’, for everyone at the Waterfront Museum, we still feel very young, fresh and experimental.

I think there are a number of reasons for this.

First, our visitors are from a wide range of backgrounds and their motivation for visiting is varied. Of the quarter of a million visits the Waterfront Museum receives each year, a good proportion are first time visitors from outside the south-west of Wales. They are particularly attracted by innovative displays that tell the human story of Welsh industrialisation over the past three centuries with key objects from the collections of Amgueddfa Cymru and the City of Swansea explained through interactive interpretation. But although part of the family of Wales’ national museums, the Waterfront Museum is also very much a local museum, and most of the rest of our visitors are ‘regulars’, returning time and again to see the many temporary exhibitions devised or hosted by us each year, or attend the 300 or so free events and hands-on activities that form such an important part of our annual programme.

Second, the Waterfront Museum is a vast storehouse of materials and opportunities for learning and inspiration. In the same way that images can tell many stories, historic artefacts are points of departure, not fixed destinations for understanding, feelings and creativity. So the museum’s learning programmes for all ages always have an inter-disciplinary approach with lots of human stories and fun. Our unofficial motto is, ‘Try anything once, so long as it’s legal and safe’!

Third, the Waterfront Museum plays an important part in the wider cultural and economic life of the Swansea region. Many organisations and communities use the museum for meetings, a location in which to communicate their work to a wider public, or as a place for celebration. The museum is also a venue that can be hired for weddings, private and corporate meetings and entertaining. Here its central location, stunning architecture and fascinating displays really help to make these events so special.

Fourth, the Waterfront Museum has always been committed to the furthering the social purpose of our heritage. We have consistently worked to use our collections and facilities to help strengthen community identities, make newcomers to Swansea feel welcome and help disadvantaged people realise their potential by gaining skills and fostering ambition and self-respect.

And last, but by no means least, the Waterfront has always been blessed with amazing staff. We aim to appoint ‘people’ people, who enjoy welcoming our visitors, are helpful and knowledgeable and are great at working together as a dynamic team. Besides being great at their ‘official’ jobs, many possess other skills that we have been able to draw upon, especially in our events and learning programmes.

So what of the future? Despite the current difficulties with the Covid19 pandemic we are sure that the next fifteen years shall be as exciting and rewarding as the last fifteen. The redevelopment of the city centre and especially the new arena nearby will provide great opportunities to engage with different audiences. The ever-expanding online digital world will present us with many new ways to celebrate Welsh industry and innovation of both the past and today to a global audience. It is also likely that the experiences of the last eight months will make us all appreciate even more the delights of experiencing ‘real’ things in a place like the Waterfront Museum that is so equipped as a place for people to meet, engage with one another, learn and have fun.

 

Keep Wales Tidy has unveiled this year’s Green Flag Award winners – the international mark of a quality park or green space. 

The National Waterfront, Swansea has achieved the prestigious Green Flag Community Award in recognition of its dedicated volunteer involvement, high environmental standards and commitment to delivering great quality green space.

The Green Flag Community Award is designed to help promote quality green spaces that are accessible to all.  They are a great way to highlight the work that the fabulous volunteers have done, and to show that we are using the museums garden to grow produce that is donated to groups in need across the city. 

GRAFT volunteers taking a break from harvesting at the gardens at the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea

In 2018, the National Waterfront Museum transformed the Museum's once industrial courtyard into a beautiful, sustainable, organic growing environment; creating an edible landscape to encourage participation and conversation around land use, food and sustainability in an accessible and empowering way. It was created and continues to be managed by GRAFT, the Museum’s land and educational project, and it forms a permanent piece of green infrastructure within Swansea City Centre. The project is also a socially engaged work of art by artist Owen Griffiths, and was originally commissioned as part of Now the Hero / Nawr Yr Arwr in 2018 funded by 1418NOW as part of a huge UK wide cultural project commemorating the first World War. Today, GRAFT works with community groups from a wide range of backgrounds across the city, who came together, to garden, grow, share food and conviviality.

Speaking on behalf of the Waterfront Museum’s GRAFT team, Senior Learning, Participation and Interpretation Officer, Zoe Gealy said: “The GRAFT team at The National Waterfront Museum are delighted to have received this Green Flag, it really highlights the fabulous work our amazing volunteers have put in since we started in 2018 and is such a great accolade during a particularly challenging year for us all.  We look forward to many more years of growing and developing our green space and will continue to create learning and volunteering opportunities, as well as donating produce to the fantastic charities across the city who are providing services for those in need”.   

The National Waterfront Museum is one of a family of seven museums and collections centres under the banner of Amgueddfa Cymru  - National Museum of Wales, which offers free entry thanks to the support of the Welsh Government. Together, they house the nation's art, history, heritage and science collections, which will continue to grow so that they can be used and enjoyed by present and future generations.

127 community managed green spaces across the country have met the high standards needed to receive the Green Flag Community Award. This means that Wales still holds a third of the UK’s community Green Flag sites.

The Green Flag Award programme is delivered in Wales by environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy, with support from Welsh Government. Independent green space experts volunteered their time in early autumn to judge applicant sites against eight strict criteria, including biodiversity, cleanliness, environmental management, and community involvement.

Lucy Prisk, Green Flag Coordinator at Keep Wales Tidy said: "The pandemic has shown just how important high-quality parks and green spaces are to our communities. For many of us, they have been a haven on our doorstep, benefitting our health and well-being. The success of National Waterfront Museum in achieving the Green Flag Community Award is a testament to the volunteers who have maintained excellent standards under the most challenging circumstances this year. I’d like to congratulate and thank them all for their outstanding commitment.”

A full list of award winners can be found on the Keep Wales Tidy website www.keepwalestidy.cymru/greenflag

 

 

 

Keep Wales Tidy has unveiled this year’s Green Flag Award winners – the international mark of a quality park or green space. 

The National Wool Museum in Carmarthenshire has achieved the prestigious Green Flag Community Award in recognition of its dedicated volunteer involvement, high environmental standards and commitment to delivering great quality green space.

The museum tells the story of one of Wales' most important and widespread industries, wool. Drefach Felindre in the beautiful Teifi valley was once a thriving center for the woolen industry supplying fabrics to the world. While sharing the fascinating history of this industry, the museum also plays an important role in keeping alive its traditional skills, as well as promoting wool as a sustainable material for our future: for fashion fabrics, home goods and as building and insulation fibre.

National Wool Museum Volunteers Pixie Harcourt and Maureen Bibby.

Speaking about the award, Ann Whitall, National Wool Museum Manager, said: "We are delighted to receive this recognition of the work we’e doing to support local biodiversity and sustainable practices. We have a long history of working closely with our local community to ensure that our activities make a positive contribution to the local rural economy. That includes our role as a tourist attraction and educational center, but increasingly it also means that we are developing a role in supporting the renaissance of wool as a future fibre, and stimulating a revival in its use and value. "

The National Wool Museum is one of a family of seven museums and collections centres under the banner of Amgueddfa Cymru  - National Museum of Wales, which offers free entry thanks to the support of the Welsh Government. Together, they house the nation's art, history, heritage and science collections, which will continue to grow so that they can be used and enjoyed by present and future generations.

127 community managed green spaces across the country have met the high standards needed to receive the Green Flag Community Award. This means that Wales still holds a third of the UK’s community Green Flag sites.

The Green Flag Award programme is delivered in Wales by environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy, with support from Welsh Government. Independent green space experts volunteered their time in early autumn to judge applicant sites against eight strict criteria, including biodiversity, cleanliness, environmental management, and community involvement.

Lucy Prisk, Green Flag Coordinator at Keep Wales Tidy said: "The pandemic has shown just how important high-quality parks and green spaces are to our communities. For many of us, they have been a haven on our doorstep, benefitting our health and well-being. The success of National Wool Museum in achieving the Green Flag Community Award is a testament to the volunteers who have maintained excellent standards under the most challenging circumstances this year. I’d like to congratulate and thank them all for their outstanding commitment.”

A full list of award winners can be found on the Keep Wales Tidy website www.keepwalestidy.cymru/greenflag

The National Wool Museum's volunteers are: 

Jilly Doe, Jo Taylor, Steve Rees, Verrinia Rees, Pixie Harcourt, Maureen Bibby, Susan Martin, Helen Fogden.