GEM/SMC GRASS ROOTS PROJECT
Guidance Notes -
Working with Different Groups in the Community
• Groups with Disabilities/Special Educational Needs
• Pre-School Children
• Teenagers/Young Adults
• College/University Students – Tertiary Education
• Adult Learners
• Useful Contacts and Further Information
GROUPS WITH DISABILITIES/SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS
There are numerous disabilities which can affect people. Those whose physical disability requires them to use a wheel chair or who use a white stick or guide dog are, easily recognisable. But many other physical disabilities are far less obvious; for instance when someone is suffering from hearing impairment. Overall, the number, of hidden disabilities is much greater, and includes problems such as a learning disability.
Capability Scotland states that the latest census for Scotland shows around 1 million people with a disability/long term illness. As the leading Scottish disability organisation it has nearly 60 years of experience in providing services to disabled people of all ages in Scotland. More information can be found on their website at www.capability-scotland.org.uk.
The Disability Discrimination Act came into full effect in October 2004. It covers not just physical, but also intellectual access issues. For up-to-date advice on the Disability Discrimination Act, including downloadable fact sheets, see the Learning and Access section on the SMC website at www.scottishmuseums.org.uk/members_services/learning_and_access/DDA_intro.asp
Under fives (and their families) are another group for which your museum can offer activities and/or resources.
Advice, publications and up-to-date targets for pre-school and early years learning can be found on the Learning and Teaching Scotland website www.ltscotland.org.uk/earlyyears
Some ideas for younger learners are;
• Family backpacks with activities in them for going around the museum, including children’s books which link to the exhibition
• Activity boxes for use by nursery groups with learning games, art activities, books, etc linking to the exhibition
• Games which involve simple counting, recognition of shapes, pattern and colour
• Art activities
• Music, song and dance
Junior Boards/ Teen Advisory Panels
A good way to get children and young people involved in the museum and help you to understand the needs of a younger audience is to set up a “junior board” or “teen advisory panel” with a group of between ten and twelve children/young adults. Invite them along for regular meetings at your museum to discuss with them issues relevant to young people that affect your museum.
Get them properly involved in the museum by asking for their input into the design and trials of new exhibits and get them to help out and promote special events and activities. Participants will develop new skills, will learn to work as team members and will be given a new insight into the workings of a museum. This will in turn challenge their preconceptions about the running of a museum and the different roles within it.
Junior Boards can be set up by going through your local authority or contacting local schools directly.
Teen advisory panels could be set up by contacting local secondary schools, or for a broader remit, contact your local community education department who can advise on local youth groups, centres and associations.
Museums can offer a valuable resource to these different groups. There are now “heritage” badges available for many of these groups to complete amongst others. Have a look at websites (listed in further information) for lists of badges and see if your museum offers a workshop which could help towards the completion of one. For example if you have scientific collections, one of your science workshops could count towards a Brownie Science Investigator Badge.
A good way to get these groups in is to offer a special discounted rate. Since they will qualify as being of school age, you could offer your special school’s admission rates. You could also treat workshops in the same manner.
Out of School Clubs
Out of school clubs are now very common and the value of these in recent years has been highlighted. Be aware of the different types of after school clubs that exist. In the past, they were often perceived as just a child care service, but now more and more frequently, they have set agendas and/or targets to meet. For example, there are a number of after school science clubs and homework clubs.
Often you can offer your school workshop activities to these groups or they might want to use the museum over a number of weeks to do a longer-term project. If you have space in the museum, you could offer facilities for a club to meet at an agreed cost for a block booking.
The Scottish out of School Care Network is a Scottish charity supporting school-aged play, care and learning. They promote, support and develop good quality, sustainable out of school care. Go to www.soscn.org for more information.
Youth work takes place with people aged between 12 and 26 years of age. It is outside formal education and encourages young people’s personal and social development.
There are a great range of youth groups with a similarly broad range of work and activities. The best place to find out about groups in your area is through your local community education or community planning department. Find out who the local youth workers in your area are and invite them to your museum for a demonstration and discussion about what you can offer to the groups that they work with.
Remember when working with young people that child protection in Scotland applies up to age 18. There are a number of links to youth organisations below for further information, including advice on funding sources.
COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY STUDENTS – TERTIARY EDUCATION
There are a number of different services that museums can offer for further education. Some colleges offer courses for sixteen and seventeen year olds who can benefit from higher school stage resources. Talks and lectures can be offered to college and university students on various topics relating to your exhibitions. Find a prospectus for your local college and/or university and read through the courses to see if there are any subject links to your museum. Then write to the head of the department to advertise your service. You could offer special student rates, talks, etc. You could also offer to go into the college or university to speak with students.
Areas you could think about are –
• Historical investigation
• Technical college – Skills building course – technical skills relating to exhibits or content of museum e.g. shipbuilding
• maritime studies course – Ships/ boats
• Local travel and tourism course – info on local tourist trade, museums, etc
• Teacher training college – sessions to demonstrate to students the museum’s resources for schools
• Art school – projects in conjunction with the museum, including involvement in projects to design new exhibits, posters for temporary exhibitions, etc.
• History of art – exhibitions
• Computing/graphics department – get them involved with work to produce resources, films, etc.
Adult education is the engagement of adults in formal and non-formal education supporting individual’s continued professional and personal development.
Learning does not stop when we complete school or formal education, rather it continues through our lives in everything that we do. Museums can offer a valuable resource to this end. Some particular areas of adult learning which you might like to think about are:
• Literacy, language and numeracy.
• Young adults
• Older learners, including reminiscence work
• Socially excluded groups
• Special Interest Groups
• The voluntary sector ….. to name but a few!
Adult Learners' Week is an opportunity to celebrate, promote and advance all forms of adult learning and is co-ordinated by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE). Go to http://www.niace.org.uk for information, ideas for themes and projects and advice on how to get involved. There is also information on the NIACE website about all the above mentioned areas of work. Although this covers England and Wales, it also has information on the Scottish Adult Learner’s Week and a link to the Scottish Adult Learners Partnership at www.alws.org.uk .
USEFUL CONTACTS AND FURTHER INFORMATION
The British Institute of Learning Disabilities (BILD) gives practical information about what a learning disability is.
Royal National Institute of the Blind
Tel: 0131 554 2561
YouthLink Scotland and its member organisations support 40,000 youth workers across Scotland to deliver a wide range of quality services to over 300,000 young people.
Tel: 0131 313 2488
Young Scot offers a range of information for 12-26 year olds, including leisure activities.
Tel: 020 7902 1060
Create Project – Arts for youth work
For anyone working with young people in Scotland from youth workers to artists: youth clubs, voluntary organisations, local authorities, arts organisations, development staff, SIPs, links officers and many more.
UK Youth exists to develop and promote innovative non-formal education programmes for and with young people - working with them to develop their potential.
Beavers, Cubs and Scouts
Young Roots (Heritage Lottery Fund)
Young Roots offers grants of between £5,000 and £25,000. The scheme aims to involve 13-20 year-olds (up to 25 for those with special needs) in finding out about their heritage, developing skills, building confidence and promoting community involvement www.hlf.org.uk/English/HowToApply/OurGrantGivingProgrammes/YoungRoots
Awards for All
Amounts awarded: £500 - £5,000. Organisation must be non-profit-making.
Tel: 0870 240 2391
Amounts awarded: Up to £25,000 per year for up to 3 years.
Tel: 020 7820 5555
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Amounts awarded: Small Grants Scheme - up to £5,000.
Large Grants Scheme - over £5,000. Largest award: £250,000.
Tel: 020 7297 4700
Lloyds TSB Foundation
Tel: 0870 902 1201
Mac Roberts Trust
Amounts awarded: £2,000 - £10,000 (mostly non-recurring)
Administrator, Balmuir, Tarland, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, AB34 4UA
Tel: 01339 881444
The Rank Foundation
Funds available for the promotion of education and youth work.
Amounts awarded: £500 - £200,000 (average grant £12,000).
The Appeals Office, 4/5 North Bar, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX16 0TB
Tel: 01295 272337
The Robertson Trust
Amounts awarded: Most grants are in the £4,000 - £10,000 bracket. A small grant scheme is also available for smaller charities to apply for a one-off donation.
Secretary, 85 Berkeley Street, Glasgow, G3 7DX
Tel: 0141 221 3151