We are delighted to have won the ‘Wellbeing’ award for larger museums in the 2020 Cornwall Heritage Awards, hosted virtually by Cornwall Museums Partnership in October.

We won the award in recognition of our inclusivity work to improve accessibility and create inclusive activities. Over the past two years, we have worked in partnership with Heritage Ability, Sensory Trust and Spectrum to make improvements to the museum’s accessibility, including creating an easy read guide for people with learning difficulties, making Wheal Martyn a registered ‘safe place’, and creating BSL clips and adding a hearing loop for visitors with hearing impairments. Visual stories are also available, along with sensory backpacks and a designated quiet zone for visitors with autism, anxiety and other associated conditions.

Our family fun days for community groups with additional needs have also been important in making inclusive activities available. Further, in November 2018, a weekly Arts and Crafts for Health group was established. The museum team has also worked with Brannel School in partnership with Badger Forest School to support young people who are struggling with their mental health, helping to build their confidence and self-esteem through outdoor learning.

This work was motivated by an ambition to become increasingly welcoming and inclusive, fulfilling the museum’s role as a community hub where all members of the community feel confident and safe to take ownership of the museum and its collections.

Colin Vallance, Director of Wheal Martyn said, ‘We are committed to providing opportunities to inspire our communities and making these available to the widest audience, helping to build skills and confidence and enhance wellbeing through engaging with heritage, culture and the environment. This award is testament to the hard work and dedication of our team in continually developing our offer at Wheal Martyn.’

Find out more about accessibility at Wheal Martyn here.