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The Winding House museum in New Tredegar is celebrating after being awarded a ‘Special Commendation for Outstanding Contribution to their Local Community’ in this year’s Kids in Museums, Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award. This is the first time any museum has been given such a commendation and is in recognition of the testimonies local families gave to their museum, saying how much it meant to them. One visitor commented, ““It’s a brilliant museum for families, hands on and the whole experience is a two-way thing.”
Dea Birkett, Director, Kids in Museums says,
“We’ve never given a special commendation for working with the local community before, but nominations from local families for Winding House were so powerful we wanted to acknowledge their excellence in this field. The undercover family judges who were sent out to the six shortlisted museums reported back that Winding House was particularly committed to serving their community, welcoming families, supporting and enabling them to discover their own heritage. They listened, shared and included. They deserve this special award.”
They were pipped to the post by 120-year-old Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle, Cumbria which shone through as the most welcoming on all counts, from the temporary exhibitions to the toilets. The Family Friendly Museum Award is the biggest museum award in Britain. This year, the Award broke all previous records with over 850 nominations, from tiny one-roomed galleries to museums of international reputation. It’s the only Award where families pick the winner.
Ken Skates, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport & Tourism added,
“Congratulations to the Winding House for achieving such special recognition. We want to see more people participating in culture and heritage, which brings many educational and social opportunities, so it is very encouraging that the Winding House is making its museum welcoming and enjoyable for families.“
Principal Museums and Heritage Officer Helen Willson says “We are absolutely thrilled to have been given this special new award by the Telegraph and Kids in Museums. To be given a national award for “outstanding contribution to our local community” – and to have inspired the award’s creation in the first place – is testament to all the hard work undertaken by staff and volunteers to ensure that the Winding House is not only family friendly but that we engage with our community in the best way we can. We are incredibly proud of this achievement.”
The winner and special commendation were announced on Thursday 24 September at an award ceremony. Amongst the celebrity guests were historian, author and Kids in Museums Patron Dan Snow; broadcaster, art expert and Kids in Museums President Philip Mould; and Culture Minister Ed Vaizey.