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Community Partnerships:

Age Collective Supported by

Age Collective Seminar Glasgow - 16th May 2013 1. Age Collective - outline

pages 2 – 4

2. Discussion points put forward

page 5

3. Key discussion points

page 6

4. Key action points

pages 6 – 8

5. Priority chart

page 9

Appendix 6. Attendees

page 10

7. Mind Map

page 11

8. Discussion write-ups

pages 12 - 17

Images from Age Collective Seminar – Glasgow, May 2013

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1. Age Collective – Seminar Series The British Museum is supporting a number of cross-sector seminars in the UK to explore how museums and galleries can better work with and for older people in their communities in partnership with organisations from other sectors.

Images from Age Collective Seminar – Belfast, April 2013

The British Museum is working with National Museums Northern Ireland, Manchester Museum and Glasgow Life. Each museum brings together local and national practitioners and representatives from a cross-section of organisations to discuss how through partnership working and collaboration, museums and galleries can better support older people in their communities. Age Collective is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Aim The aims of the seminars are to: • Listen to the voices of older adults – explore the needs of diverse communities of older people and the varied provision for meeting these needs across the UK. • Share good practice – develop ideas to support museums across the UK to cater better for the older people within their localities in partnership with other organisations. • Develop inter-disciplinary partnerships – encourage social care, health and advice providers for older people to view museums as potential, valuable partners. • Formulate a shared action plan – create a cross-sector network to drive change, with the aim of increasing opportunities and wellbeing for the diverse communities of older people in different parts of the UK. • Research – improve the work that we do, formulate new ways of collaborating with other sectors and disciplines to locate new areas for collaborative research.

Methodology The seminars invite practitioners already working with older people with the aim of bringing together strong voices to facilitate a discussion where all attendees can raise relevant issues and ideas. The seminars use the ‘Open Space’1 technique to enable collaborative discussion 1

‘Open Space’ is a way of facilitating a discussion as democratically as possible. Its methodology ensures that

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between museums working with older people, and stakeholders beyond the heritage sector. With no pre-set agenda, the methodology ensures that the meeting agenda is collaborative and the discussions best reflect the interests of all attending individuals. Centred on the theme of how museums and galleries can better work with and for older people in their communities in partnership with organisations from other sectors, delegates set the questions and all discussions focus on actions to be taken forward. The discussion content and action points are then collated, prioritized and distributed as the work of the entire group.

Using this document The third Age Collective seminar was held at St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art in Glasgow on Thursday 16th May 2013. The seminar brought together over 40 delegates to represent local and national organisations working with older adults. Sectors present included museums, arts, research, social care and community organisations. This document begins with a list of the questions put forward by the attending delegates and an outline of the key discussion points drawn from the wider set of questions. This is followed by a summary of the key action points and a chart of the priority areas selected by delegates at the end of the seminar as matters needing the greatest attention. The document ends with a more detailed outline of each conversation, a mind map linking the discussion topics and a list of organisations represented at the Glasgow Age Collective seminar. This document will be circulated to all attendees and can be used by them as they see fit to move this work forward. It will be made available online and continuing debate and revision will be encouraged at every point. The main aim is to make a change – improve the work that we do, formulate new ways of collaborating between museums and galleries and with other sectors and disciplines and perhaps locate new areas for collaborative research.

the meeting agenda and discussions best reflect the needs of all participants. Participants agree to attend to take an active part in a dialogue within a predetermined theme, all discussions focus on actions to be taken forward.

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Next Steps The last Age Collective seminar will take place in Manchester in May 2013. The host partner will be Manchester Museum. Each host partner brings together local and national practitioners and representatives to ensure the conversations are as inclusive and far-reaching as possible. Each seminar is designed to gauge interest and explore the themes partners feel are important in their local areas. The discussions and documents resulting from all four seminars are now being analysed to draw out key recommendations aimed at dramatically improving provisions and opportunities for older people. The recommended priority areas as identified by the range of sectors at the seminars will also be collated to identify a shared action plan for the museum sector to work towards. The final and key dissemination event will be a major conference where seminar attendees will present the most exciting outputs of the process so far to a wider audience. The conference is an opportunity for individuals not yet actively working with older audiences to learn from the experience of the seminar participants, respond to the programme outputs, and be inspired by the Age Collective process.

Further Information For more information about the Age Collective programme please contact Harvinder Bahra – Community Partnership Coordinator at the British Museum on hbahra@britishmuseum.org . If you have any questions about the content of this report please contact Antonio Benitez, postgraduate researcher at the University of Salford on a.benitez@edu.salford.ac.uk

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How can museums and galleries better work with and for older people in their communities in partnership with organisations from other sectors? 2. Discussion points put forward Focusing on the theme of how museums and galleries can better work with and for older people in their communities in partnership with organisations from other sectors, the following questions were put forward by the delegates at the Glasgow seminar: 1. 2. 3.

4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

14. 15. 16. 17.

How can museums engage with hard to reach older people – those not involved in clubs or societies and those not interested in the arts? How can museums provide better staff training around being inclusive and accessible? How can museums gather older people’s visit experiences so we can innovate/change what we offer to improve and make the museum more attractive/accessible for them? Are museums key social spaces for older people to meet and/or be active in? How do we influence the gatekeepers of groups of older people (especially with specific needs) about the benefits of collaborative working with museums? How can we open up arts and heritage via digital interfaces for older people? How can museums improve and develop resources that meet the needs of care centre residents and non-residential users in their centres? How are older artists commissioned – are they? Should museums actively promote health issues such as obesity, alcoholism, and smoking through displays, learning and outreach programmes? How can museums improve physical access for older people (seating, toilets)? How can museums be more dementia friendly? How can museums engage more older men? How can museums use our positive experiences of working with older volunteers to help shift the current public debate about the fears of an ageing population? What is the best way to set up shared learning projects with museums? Do museums have a general policy on providing guides? How can museums engage with all generations to share skills and knowledge and increase learning? How can Alzheimer Scotland dementia advisors work in partnership with museum staff?

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3. Key discussion points The key discussion points listed below have been drawn out from the wider conversations and present some of the recurring themes from the third Age Collective seminar in Glasgow. 1. 2.

What is the best way to set up shared learning projects with museums? How can museums use our positive experience of volunteering and working with older people to help shift the current public debate about the fears of an ageing population? 3. How can museums be more dementia friendly? 4. How can museums improve physical access for older people? 5. How can museums engage with people from all generations to share skills and knowledge and increase learning? 6. How can museums engage with hard to reach older people? 7. Are museums key social spaces for older people to meet or be active in? 8. How can museums improve and develop resources that meet the needs of care centre residents and non-residential users in their centres? 9. How can museums commission more older artists? 10. How can museums use digital interfaces to open up engagement with heritage opportunities for older people? 11. How can museums influence gatekeepers of groups of older people about the benefits of collaborative working with museums? 12. How can museums use training to become more inclusive?

4. Key action points: The key action points below have been drawn out from the wider discussions and present some of the recurring points put forward at the third Age Collective seminar in Glasgow. •

Carry on with the Age Collective work and create a permanent network to develop a manifesto in collaboration with other sectors about how museums can engage older people. Offer training and networking opportunities for “gatekeepers” (care homes and care workers). Gatekeepers can bring groups of older people into the museum. Explore how museums can develop more sustainable ways of bringing in groups of older people (self-led visits). Research older men’s engagement in museums. What is it that prevents men joining groups? Find out what men would like to do when visiting the museum. 6


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• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • • • •

Find new ways to link intergenerational work with the National Curriculum. Find suitable places/spaces to share information about museum activities and programmes in organisations working with older people, such as dementia groups. Share case studies about how organisations from different areas work with older people to enable organisations to learn from each other. Make buildings more accessible and dementia friendly. Make museum programmes more inclusive – open sessions for all. Marketing: don’t rely solely on website – physically reach groups through networks and organisations. Deliver more training programmes for museum staff to make museums more welcoming and accessible to older people. Promote older people’s active participation in museums instead of passive engagement. Use digital interfaces which are accessible and easy to use and understand. Promote high-quality digital interaction (e.g. use high resolution images). Research older people’s perceptions and use of digital media and share this research with each other. Capture evidence of intergenerational work and share case studies. Highlight “Generations Working Together” local networks and training opportunities. Explore the idea of involving older people in museums’ advisory groups to influence decision makers. Develop ideas on how to best capture feedback from visitors of different generations. Map out services available to older people in diverse cultural communities. Understand the importance of sensitive and appropriate use of language when working with older people. Museums have a role to play in promoting the positive contribution of older adults to society, in dispelling some of the negative perceptions of ageing and in developing a positive collective voice for ageing. Explore the perceptions older people have about museums. Museums must value older people’s experience and skills. Develop “memory walls” at museums where older people can identify places, objects and people relevant to their lives. Promote touch and feel experiences for older people. Promote the use of volunteers taking handling objects outside the museum. Be aware of different cultural perspectives on ageing. Promote intergenerational work in museums. Create greater engagement opportunities for older people. Share resources and research about museums working with people with dementia. Promote better understanding of what individuals with dementia experience 7


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• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

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during museum activities (e.g. handling objects) to develop understanding of how museum resources can be used effectively. Use the Dementia Services Development Centre (Stirling University website). Develop partnerships between museums and dementia organisations to facilitate joint delivery of dementia awareness training for front of house staff, decision makers and museum designers. Be more creative about how to collect feedback from visitors. Consider the needs of future cohorts of older people (not just current ones). Develop opportunities for older people’s groups to network with other groups to find out what others are doing. Increase awareness, among groups of older people, of opportunities to engage with museums. Explore different models to engage older men. Explore different ways to share best practice and learn from others’ successes. Explore why older people come to museums. Explore the idea of providing spaces allocated to older people which they can use as social spaces. Develop pop-up museums; museums need to go outside the building. Make museums relevant to older people; look at perceptions of who and what museums are for. Explore what older people need from museums. Make a Freedom of Information request to Creative Scotland about the number of older artists and how they promote the work of older artists. Work with Museums and Galleries Scotland to explore how older artists can be supported. Find existing research into older people’s engagement with digital media. Build knowledge and understanding of older people’s perceptions of digital media. Websites: make very clear who in the organisation is responsible for doing what. Provide training for gatekeepers on what museums offer, how gatekeepers and older people can use them, and how museums can improve older people’s lives. Offer a basic leaflet about what museums have on offer for older people. Think more creatively about where to get funding from (e.g. commissioners, health sector…)

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5. Discussion Points – priority chart At the end of the Age Collective seminar in Glasgow each delegate was allocated 5 stickers to distribute between the discussion points to indicate which they felt were of the most importance take forward.

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APPENDIX 6. Attendees at the Glasgow Age Collective seminar Representatives from the following organisations listed attended the Age Collective seminar at the St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art (Glasgow) on 16 th May 2013: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Age Scotland Alzheimer’s Scotland Artlink Edinburgh Arts, Glasgow Life Brunel Institute for Ageing Studies Contact the Elderly Corkerhill Day Care European Group for People with Dementia Generations Working Together Glasgow Life Policy and Research Glasgow Museums Glasgow Museums Glasgow University Impact Arts International centre for Cultural & Heritage Studies (ICCHS), Newcastle University Luminate, Age Scotland Manchester Museum Manchester Museum/Whitworth Art Gallery National Galleries of Scotland National Museums of Scotland Newcastle University ng homes (North Glasgow Housing Association) Open Museum, Glasgow Pinkston Day Care RSVP Scotland (Retired and Senior Volunteer programme) Salford University Scottish Dementia Working Group The British Museum Timespan Museum and Arts Centre Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums University of Stirling University of the Third Age 10


•

Voluntary Action East Renfrewshire (VA-ER)

7. Mind map of themes The mind-map below presents the themes put forward at the Age Collective seminar in Glasgow. They can be centred on two main points: 1. The different factors to be considered when working to improve engagement. 2. The different forms of internal and external partnerships to utilise in the process of improving engagement.

Museums & Older People

Networks and partnerships

Engagement Diversity

Multi-sector partnerships (Culture, health, community, research)

Access (Advice & Feedback)

Staff Development & Training

Perceptions & Motivations

Sustainability

Barriers

Advocacy & Strategic Support

Stimulation & Relevance

Sharing Learning, Resources & Best Practice

Skills, Knowledge Creativity Awareness: Marketing & Communication Isolated Older People Outreach Digital Engagement

Intergenerational

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8. Discussion Write-up: Pages 13 to 19 are the notes taken from each conversation during the Age Collective seminar, including additional comments placed on the discussion wall for each conversation. The key discussion/action points for each question can be used as stand-alone suggestions for your own research in these areas. 1. What is the best way to set up shared learning projects with museums? Refers to Discussion Point 14. •

It is important to promote opportunities for shared learning between people of different ages, backgrounds and abilities

Involving more men is a challenge for most museums. Most groups of older people are dominated by women.

Word of mouth is the best way to recruit older people. Museums can also use leaflets. When thinking about marketing campaigns, museums need to be aware that not many older people use the Internet.

There is a lack of awareness about what other groups of older people are doing. There is a need for more networking opportunities between groups of older people.

Raising awareness: the most important thing is to get people involved. People need to know what is available in museums and then we need to encourage them to get involved.

2. How can museums use our positive experience of volunteering and working with older people to help move the current public debate about the fears of an ageing population? Refers to Discussion Point 13. •

Cultural perspective has a strong impact on how ageing is treated.

How can museums reduce the negative perceptions some age groups may have about ageing and the impact of ageing on our societies (i.e. economic costs, pensions, health care)?

Museums sometimes contribute to these negative perceptions of ageing by focusing their work with older people on reminiscence therapy and on working with people with dementia, Alzheimer’s, loneliness…

Museums need to use appropriate language when working with and talking about older people.

Museums have a role to play in promoting the positive contributions that older people make to our societies.

It is important to develop partnerships and to use networks to take part in this debate about the benefits that older people bring to our societies.

By making people aware of the monetary value of volunteering time spent by 12


older volunteers. •

It is important to promote intergenerational learning opportunities between younger and older generations.

3. How can museums be more dementia friendly? Refers to Discussion Points 11 and 17. •

How can museums work with organisations working with people with dementia to improve the service they provide to people living with dementia.

Both museums and organisations working with people with dementia are aware of the benefits of engaging and working with museums.

Museum visits can encourage interaction with other people which is extremely important for people with dementia.

Those who don’t normally speak are encouraged to talk and be talkative by the stimulation of short term memories during museum visits.

Engagement in museum activities can improve people’s behaviour (i.e. sleeping patterns) which can make a huge difference for the person and their carers.

Dementia communities need to encourage carers and dementia sufferers to socialise together.

Digital projects using personal objects and museum objects can provide benefits for carers, relatives and sufferers.

Staff delivering reminiscence sessions need to be aware of themes not to be discussed.

Museums need to improve training opportunities for front of house staff, decision makers and museums designers to better work with people with dementia.

This work needs to be supported by senior managers from museums and dementia care organisations. How can we achieve this support at a strategic level?

Dementia advisors could work with their local museums to improve their access and offer for people living with dementia.

By promoting the importance of providing outreach services for those people who can’t come to the museums.

4. How can museums improve physical access for older people (seating, toilet facilities…)? Refers to Discussion Points 10 and 3. •

Older people have been providing advice to museums about the services they provide for a long time.Why is this advice ignored?

How do we capture feedback from older people?

Museums could recruit advisory or reference panels with older people to provide advice, ideas and feedback. Museums need to make sure the group represents a wide range of ages, genders, social classes and disabilities.

Museums need new ways to collect feedback from visitors (i.e. robots). 13


The way a question is asked impacts the response that is given.

Policies are normally based on focus groups. The information you obtain from focus groups is very different from that obtained if you do interviews or questionnaires.

Information/feedback from older visitors needs to be triangulated.

Museums need to think creatively about how they will cater for future cohorts of older visitors.

Museums need to be thinking about how future cohorts of older people will be different to current ones (e.g. health profiles will be very different).

Do older people want to be identified as “older”? It depends how it is done.

Seating and physical access to museums is important.

The importance of providing refreshments for older audiences should not be under-estimated.

5. How can museums engage with all generations sharing skills and knowledge and to increase learning? Refers to Discussion Point 16. •

There is a need to capture and share the evidence of intergenerational work.

More emphasis needs to be put into evaluating the projects (sharing learning).

Write up the case studies and share nationally.

It is very important to articulate the benefits that intergenerational work brings to participants of different ages, museums, and local communities.

Local networks are important for intergenerational work.

6. How can museums engage with hard to reach older people – those not involved in clubs or societies and those not interested in the arts? Refers to Discussion Point 1. •

Word of mouth will always be the most successful way to recruit isolated older people

The best approach is using local engagement, working with local community groups and local authorities.

Museums and galleries “without walls”.

Personal relationships between older people and museum staff are extremely important.

Where do older people normally go? Museums should work much more closely with places familiar to older people (e.g. hairdressers, GP practices, local cafes, churches).

Museums could also work with individuals supporting older people in their own homes (social care, neighbours…)

It is important to make the experience relevant to older people. 14


Communication skills are vital to success in engaging older people.

Sharing best practice is important. Organisations need to make sure they share their knowledge and skills with a much wider range of organisations.

7. Are museums key social spaces for older people to meet and/or be active in? Refers to Discussion Point 4. •

It is important to acknowledge the diversity of older people (ages; social, family and health backgrounds).

Museums need to stimulate their audiences and this is also relevant to older people. How can museums stimulate their older audiences?

How can museums use their resources to make their collections relevant to older people?

Sometimes people from different cultural backgrounds do not see the point in going to a museum because there are no objects representative of their heritage.

It is important that museums build trust with their isolated older audiences.

Museums must acknowledge the diversity of older people. Some people might be offended by being labelled as “older”.

Sometimes older people automatically have everything done and organised for them. It may be better to enable older visitors to organise some aspects of their visits themselves (empowering them).

Many older people perceive museums as places for educated people only.

There are still financial barriers for some older people to come to the museum (transport, refreshments…).

Museums should provide more spaces for people to bring their own food.

Souvenirs are very important for older people.

How can museums enable older people to access stimulating experiences?

Museums need to be very careful when using labels to accompany their objects on display.

8. How can museums improve and develop resources that meet the needs of care centre residents and non-residential users in their centres? Refers to Discussion Point 7. •

By being involved in the design of new care homes (creative spaces).

How can museums’ resources be more accessible in older people’s centres.

Museum exchange programme across Scotland: resources that have been developed by other local and regional museums.

Centre staff need training to build their confidence in using objects to engage centre users, and in taking objects outside their centres. 15


By sharing learning, skills and experiences between museum staff and care home staff.

By training younger care home staff (reminiscence therapy).

Gender issues: men are normally more vocal about issues and live experiences.

Dementia is becoming a younger issue, affecting younger people.

How can museums and heritage organisations support care homes in promoting stimulating experiences for residents?

Promote the idea of museum volunteers taking handling collections to care homes.

Residents could make their own memory boxes and display them inside the care centre.

Older people like to touch, feel and smell objects. Use the senses to keep the conversation going.

9. How can museums commission more older artists? Refers to Discussion Point 8. •

How can museums work with older artists (after retirement age)?

Can you be an emerging artist when you get older?

What kind of support is available for older artists?

It is important that older people see their peers creating arts. Older age can be a time for becoming and being creative.

10. How can museums use digital interfaces to open up arts and heritage for older people? Refers to Discussion Point 6. •

Participants agreed on the potential of using tablets/iPads to promote creative engagement with older adults.

Try to make a “museum without walls”, taking the museum out to care homes to reach isolated older people.

How can digital media be used to enhance object handling sessions and reminiscence practices? One of the issues they will have is the practical element of software and hardware.

Some digital practices are more focused on creativity than reminiscence.

More information is needed about older people’s use of digital technologies.

Museums need to acknowledge that the way older people use digital technologies may be different from the way younger people use them.

Digital material can be used to stimulate reminiscence.

Museums need to accept that there are varying degrees of digital technologies knowledge and experience among older people

Learning new skills through museum projects is one of the most beneficial outcomes of projects. 16


11.

12.

Using digital images to get conversation started.

Digital versus real experience: older people prefer to touch and feel the “real thing”.

It is important not to assume that the audience have previous knowledge about the subject.

Make participation active rather than passive.

Use interfaces which are easy to use or to learn.

Emphasise the quality of interaction (the use of high quality images).

Find out more about perceptions and use of digital technologies by older people.

How can museums influence the gatekeepers of groups of older people about the benefits of collaborative working with museums? Refers to Discussion Point 5. •

Points of contact are needed both at the museums and at the organisations working with older people.

By creating a guide for gatekeepers of museum services available to older people.

By promoting networking opportunities between museums and gatekeepers.

Sustainability: buy-in from senior managers in the museum, community and social care sectors is important.

It would be beneficial to create a memorandum of understanding between the museum and community organisations, with roles and responsibilities.

Placements: Museum staff could spend time with community and social care organisations and vice versa.

Advocate to those gatekeepers who can influence others.

Sustainable partnerships (long term benefits).

How can museums use training to become more inclusive? Refers to Discussion Point 2. •

Developing training opportunities in partnership with health and social care sectors.

Training required not just for Front of House staff but also for Senior Managers about the importance of this work.

Areas for training: physical and intellectual access to the museum.

Language skills and how to care for older people.

Basic awareness training about working with people with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Setting up placements for museum staff to spend time in health and social care organisations and vice versa. 17


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Involving volunteers in training opportunities. Volunteers could deliver outreach activities for older people.

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Age Collective: Glasgow Seminar Report  

Age Collective is a UK-wide cross-sector conversation exploring how museums and galleries can better work with and for older people in their...

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