Treasure House is a Big Lottery funded project delivered by National Museums Northern Ireland (NMNI) in partnership with Clanmil Housing Association to provide social and learning opportunities for older people within all four of our museums. It will run for five years from August 2013.
The project builds on the success of the Live and Learn project (also Big Lottery funded). Live and Learn supports outreach activities across Northern Ireland, whereas Treasure House will bring older people into museums on a regular basis and offer involvement for the life of the project.
Clanmil tenants will be able to join monthly groups that meet in our museums. They will engage in creative and cultural activities inspired by our collections and led by project staff and other facilitators. These sessions will be responsive to the interests and abilities of participants, and include art, craft, object handling, local history and traditions, reminiscence, music, dance and drama.
A key aim of the project is to enhance older people’s quality of life and to counter social isolation. There will be opportunities for some older people other than Clanmil tenants to participate in workshops, and for volunteering.
The project will be delivered by two part-time workers: Sue Cathcart will be based in the Ulster Museum and the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum; Deirdre Mullan will be based in the Ulster American Folk Park, and also deliver workshops in Armagh County Museum.
Treasure House is about opening up the rich learning environments of National Museums to wider audiences, but also about recognising that older people have much to offer, and with their skills and experience, they too are a Treasure House.