Monday, May 22, 2017

Sporting Memories

We have recently developed a sixth reminiscence box which is available to borrow from Sandal Library, for all Wakefield Library card holders.


This Sports themed box was developed on the suggestion of people who have been using our other 5 boxes.


From ‘Spokey Dokes’ to a vintage bowling ball this new box contains objects linked with  sports such as football, cycling, golf and cricket. Each of the objects has an information sheet with suggested ideas for discussions and activities. These have been developed for use with groups of people or on a one to one basis.


Some of the objects have kindly been donated for use in the reminiscence box. A Castleford Tigers fan donated a shirt for reference to rugby and the team he supports. There are items from Hemsworth & District Clay Pigeon Club – some people may not think this a sport. The club secretary but in many hours creating a file of information to support the objects donated and to explain this sport in more depth – for this we give thanks as this is not something we had knowledge to produce.


There is also a photo pack to accompany the box which contains images from Wakefield Museums collections and has been enhanced with image within Wakefield Libraries collections. Images are printed on white card with supporting text printed on yellow card for people who have sight impairment or dementia.


Since completing the Sports box we are looking to develop a seventh box upon the theme of Rugby. With our district having three rugby teams, (Castleford Tigers, Featherstone Rovers and Wakefield Trinity) and each of these having such strong local support it was thought that a box designated to the one sport would be of interest to many people. We are sure there will be many stories and memories that people have from playing rugby at school or for a professional team, from watching your favourite team in the final or your favourite player score the best try ever seen the box will provide object to prompt discussions no matter which team you support.
If you would like to borrow one of reminiscence boxes, please contact the dementia-friendly Sandal Library: 01924 303355 or email.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

West Yorkshire Local Authority Museum Partnership Audience Development Commission

Commissioned by Wakefield Council Museums Service on behalf of West Yorkshire Local Authority Museums Partnership [WYLAMP]

We are looking for an experienced audience development specialist to develop and test a programme of promotional activity working across the WYLAMP group with the aim of sharing expertise and increasing visitor figures.
WYLAMP is a partnership between the five West Yorkshire Local Authority museum services to share best practice, encourage collaborative working and promote the value and benefits of Local Authority museums.  The partnership includes Bradford; Calderdale; Kirklees; Leeds and Wakefield.
Starting Conversations Research
In 2016 WYLAMP commissioned some audience development research that investigated what motivated people to visit and then recommend our venues.
A new level of insight into visitor behaviour revealed the building blocks of recommendation, and suggested ways to use these for development. The study describes how a recommendation is formed by many factors; by a great visit; and within that, by something that we don’t always think so much about – the ability to fit into people’s lives. In addition, there are quite separate social factors: the motivations for making any recommendation.
The research suggested that the goal is to ‘start conversations’, with and between visitors. Conversations help museums engage visitors, and reach the depth that museums want to achieve, but it is also a key benefit of museum visiting. Starting conversations also pays back in more visitors: for the WYLAMP group, the majority (around 70%) of its visitors will be attracted in this way, through recommendation, or positive word of mouth.
The ‘Starting Conversations’ report contained eighteen recommendations for action.  As part of Wakefield Museums Arts Council Resilience Round Two project we have secured funding to develop and test some audience development approaches based on the Starting Conversations recommendations.
Purpose of the Work
The purpose of the work is to develop a set of practical audience development approaches that can be used by the WYLAMP group to:
  • Increase visitor figures
  • Share expertise
  • Use existing audience development resources effectively and efficiently
  • Develop and encourage cross-over visits
  • Work in partnership with audience development and marketing staff across WYLAMP to develop and test mutually beneficial audience development approaches based on the ‘Starting Conversations’ recommendations.
  • Evaluation of test approaches.
  • Preparation of ‘how to guides’ to ensure a workable and practical legacy of the project.
  • Report of findings, summary,  recommendations to be prepared
  • Presentation of findings to WYLAMP
A fee of no more than £9500 (plus VAT if applicable) payable on receipt of an invoice and paid in instalments as agreed.    This includes all costs for delivery of test projects.
Jun 17
Jul 17
Aug 17
Sept 17
Oct 17
Nov 17
Dec 17
Jan 18
Feb 18
Mar 18
Selection process
Familiarisation and set up
Develop programme of activity
Test and review approaches
Evaluation, ‘how to guides’ and final report
How to apply?
To apply for this commission please send the following information to by 12 noon on Thursday 15 June 2017:
  • Outline of how you propose to carry out the project including  a timeline
  • Budget outline for delivering the work
  • Details of your experience delivering similar projects
  • Details of two referees for work you have completed recently

Monday, May 15, 2017

Half Term is fast-approaching!

Half Term holidays are approaching faster than we thought possible!

No need to panic though - there is lots of fun to be had at Wakefield's Museums and Castles!

Click on image to enlarge
All of these activities are free, and most don't require booking.

To see the full list of bookable family (and adult) sessions, visit