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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 30/07/2007


The following activities will be run as part of the project. This project comprises two elements: a new building to provide enhanced space and facilities, and a two/three-year education officer post with responsibility for developing the service to a wider community.

The purpose of the short-term education post is to provide enhanced learning opportunities for parts of the community currently excluded by the museum’s inability to fully meet their needs. By having to concentrate on mainstream education, the museum is currently inadvertently excluding other groups who we know will benefit from the service.

v This project will provide handling boxes for individuals and groups with learning difficulties and for families in general, for use after school and at weekends. So far this service has only been piloted, as there is insufficient space within the museum building to accommodate the handling boxes on a regular basis.
v This project will develop the service that we can offer to pre-school groups and enable us to provide a regular year-round facility. Increasingly, pre-school organisations are following clearly defined learning objectives that the museum is in a good position to support. At present, visits by pre-school groups have to fit in around primary and secondary school visits.
v It will also target the elderly by developing resources for reminiscence sessions either at the museum or as an outreach programme.
v The programme of work with learning impaired adults will be extended into projects using tactile materials such as clay, textiles, collage etc. drawing inspiration from the museum collections and site, as piloted with the ‘Making a Mark’ project
v The establishment of a programme of adult education local history lectures will provide a much needed service while maximising the use of the museum’s extensive local history collections and archives
v Adapting the currently derelict kitchen garden into an outdoor education facility will provide an opportunity for young people and families to take part in regular hands-on projects in environmental studies, and experimental archaeology, as piloted in the ‘Doing Time Team’ project in 2005 ( see Annexe J). Taking part in such projects is the most effective means of learning valuable environmental lessons.
v There are a growing number of local networks for Home Educated Children and the museum is increasingly being asked to support their studies, which at present can be difficult to fit around mainstream school bookings

The new facility will enable us to overcome the obstacles posed by the museum’s occupation of a Grade I listed building with limited access to the first and second floors.

v It will enable the re-siting of temporary exhibitions from the currently inaccessible first floor room in the main building to a new fully accessible exhibition space within the attractive walled garden
v It will provide a fully accessible area that can be used for study sessions, examining parts of the museum’s extensive reserve collections. At present when groups such as the Quilters’ Guild come to study museum artefacts they are obliged to use the meeting room on the second floor of the main building that can accommodate a maximum of 10 people and is accessed by several flights of steep, narrow stairs
v The new facility will increase out of hours access so that external groups can use it for functions and meetings at weekends and in the evenings when the museum is closed providing an opportunity to generate small amounts of income from hire charges to support the museum. At present, out of hours access is through the museum building, which poses security issues. People attending functions in the existing gallery have to brave the garden path in the dark in order to use toilets and the kitchen in the main house. Usage of the existing building is limited to when one of the three staff key holders is available to supervise.
v The new facility will provide access to affordable exhibition space for hire by individuals and groups within the community.

Another aspect of the short-term education officer’s role will be to extend the range of opportunities for the community to enjoy their heritage by providing meaningful leisure activities outside mainstream education.

v We will establish regular or longer term youth projects, as piloted with the ‘What Eye See’ project in order to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to value their environment and develop a sense of self-worth
v The new facility provides the opportunity to provide after-school facilities that enable children to explore interesting and exciting ways of looking at their heritage in a safe and stimulating environment
v The new building will provide a beautiful, purpose built space in complete harmony with the fine Georgian building and attractive garden

The following groups and users will make use of the facility. Visiting school groups
Increase targeting of Special Schools as improved facilities and access makes it easier to accommodate them
Develop more regular holiday activities with Disability Challengers, a charity that runs holiday play schemes for children and young people with disabilities. To date we have run a number of pilot schemes but improved, more accessible facilities will make it easier to accommodate these in future
Pre-school groups – pilot sessions have shown this will be very popular. Better facilities such as toilets, and a cloakroom will make greater targeting of this user group more feasible
Families taking part in regular drop-in and hands on activities. Activity tables and discovery boxes have proved very successful during holiday times, and this project will provide an accessible venue for such activities to be made available throughout term-time as well.
Family groups with a disabled member. This facility will provide an accessible location for year round use of specially designed discovery boxes and activity packs
Adults with learning difficulties eg Whitmore Vale, will have space and facilities for regular workshops, following the success of the pilot scheme ‘Making a Mark’ in 2001. (Details of this project can be provided)
After school clubs for children who might not otherwise come to a museum
Youth groups such as took part in ‘What Eye See’ project and exhibition in 2002. (Details of this project can be provided) The new gallery will provide a safe, well resourced facility to support youth projects of this nature on a more regular basis
Local special interest groups such as art societies, embroidery groups, looking for affordable gallery space to hire for exhibiting their work
Individual artists or students wanting to display their work- possibly for the first time- at affordable rates
Community groups looking for a pleasant, affordable venue to hold meetings, receptions, workshops
Adults interested in their local heritage taking advantage of museum expertise in the form of local history lectures, lunch time lectures, workshops etc
Special Interest Groups such as NADFAS members, Quilter’s Guilds, students researching museum collections etc, able to take advantage of greater access to the museum collections
Frail elderly from day centres, retirement homes or individual elderly attending tea time reminiscence sessions as piloted successfully in 2004 and 2005 (Details of these events can be provided)
Farnham and District Museum Society able to use the enlarged hall with increased seating capacity to hold their weekly lectures. The installation of toilets, cloakroom and small kitchen will for the first time in about 30 years, provide a suitable venue for this thriving society Museum Club members and children attending holiday workshops and drop in sessions
Meetings, events and exhibitions by groups sharing a common interest with the museum for whom using the museum premises helps to reinforce their message eg William Cobbett Society, Farnham Society, Farnham Public Art Trust, Farnham Trust, Farnham in Bloom etc

Comms/o&s3/2007-08/004.call in anx 1