- Date: 1 June 2012
- Area: National, South East
The winners collect their award. Credit: Heathcliff O'Malley
Kids in Museums has awarded its 2012 Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award to Haslemere Museum, Surrey.
Kids in Museums, funded by Arts Council England as part of its Renaissance programme, is aimed at making museums open and welcoming to all families, in particular those who haven't visited before.
The Telegraph-sponsored Family Friendly Museum Award is a major accolade for a museum and is the only one judged by solely families.
Kids in Museums received record nominations this year from more than 600 families.
Hedley Swain, Director of Museums, Arts Council England, said:
'The Arts Council believes that every child and young person should have the opportunity to experience the richness and delight that our museums offer.
'That's why we support Kids in Museums, who do a great job of highlighting museums that connect best with young people and their families, and why I'd like to offer our congratulations to Haslemere on winning this family friendly award.'
Visitors praise volunteers
Haslemere Museum was marked out by judges for its warm and welcoming atmosphere and its wide range of activities and clubs for children and teenagers.
Judging families particularly noticed how friendly the volunteers were, willing to have a chat to visitors of all ages and point out interesting things to do from the moment they arrived to the moment they left.
Sandra Tellyn, who visited the museum with her three children as one of the secret family judges, says, 'The volunteers couldn't have been more welcoming. Everyone we spoke to gave more than they had to. They were just amazing. It's a little haven.'
Mariella Frostrup, Patron of Kids in Museums, commented:
'This award is important because it gives a real voice to families and children - letting them say what works in a museum for them. They chose Haslemere not because of an outstanding collection - even though there's a lovely stuffed bear, a giant spider crab and even an Egyptian Mummy - but because of the welcome they received. Nothing was too much for the staff and volunteers. It's a gem.'
The shortlisted museums were: World Museum, Liverpool, Brixham Heritage Museum, Devon; Wolverhampton Art Gallery; National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh; Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands.
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