Welcome back , you are logged in

Gallery 20 will be closed from 12 noon Tuesday 26 September until 12 noon Thursday 28 September
Featured Video Play Icon

Culture Café

Case study: Culture Café

RAMM joins forces with Age UK to provide and interactive experience for elderly people, called Culture Café, in order to improve their wellbeing.

The challenge

Isolation and loneliness are the main reasons that older people become excluded from the rest of society. Almost 1 million older people in the United Kingdom are socially isolated, according to Age UK, and this has a serious impact on quality of life. The charity’s 2011 Loneliness and Isolation Evidence Review states: “Tackling social isolation and loneliness is not currently a priority for service providers, but is vital if we are to end social exclusion.”

The background

Many museums use objects to spark conversations and memories or to inspire creativity, and research by organisations such as the Happy Museum Project and Newcastle University shows this kind of activity can improve people’s wellbeing. It provides social interaction and refreshing stimulation. The focus on the moment often provides a welcome respite from the stresses of daily life, and the impact on happiness can last for some time beyond the session itself.

RAMM has worked with Age UK on numerous projects over many years. The museum values opportunities to take its collections and curatorial passion to an audience it could not reach without this partnership.

The project

Around 145 older people attended bite-sized object-handling sessions involving curators, conversations, company and cake. RAMM provided the informal sessions in an elegant venue over six weeks in 2012, with a view to reducing isolation for older people – some with dementia – and their carers.

What changed?

The Culture Café provided fun, purposeful activity which was good for participants’ wellbeing in many ways. It led to new friendships and re-ignited old friendships, so that isolation for the participants and their carers was reduced over the time of the project. As well as the social impact, the project demonstrated that it is possible to carry on learning and expanding your horizons throughout your life, whatever your age. Some participants rediscovered RAMM as a safe and welcoming place they felt able to return to – alone, or with friends and family.

What did people say?

“It’s the first time I’ve been into Exeter town centre for 12 years. My neighbours don’t talk to me. I’m on my own at home. It’s nice to have a chat with people here. Everyone’s been so lovely.”

“I haven’t been to the museum for a long time, not since it reopened. I hope to come and visit now I know I don’t have to use stairs to get to see things.”

“Warm, satisfying, beautiful, comforting atmosphere, welcoming, healthy”

“Learning about topics I wouldn’t have thought about”

What next?

The project worked well and could be extended or repeated with very few changes. RAMM and Age UK initially thought the project might be able to continue with enthusiastic group members and volunteers running sessions themselves. However, participants’ poor health and lack of transport meant they were unable to do as much as they had hoped, and the project came to an end.

RAMM continues to work with Age UK and has piloted a series of outreach sessions to older gentlemen.

For further information

Please contact Kate Osborne, Learning and Skills Officer, RAMM

Terms & Conditions

These terms and conditions (Terms) apply to the entire contents of this website. Please read these Terms carefully before using this website. Using this website indicates that you accept these Terms. If you do not accept these Terms, please do not use this website.
  1. These Terms shall constitute an agreement between you and us and shall set out the conditions upon which you may access the information available on this website
  2. We reserve the right to change these Terms, at any time and to notify you by posting an updated version of these Terms on this website, at which point they will become immediately effective
  3. Your continued use of this website after any changes referred to in clause 2 shall constitute your consent to such changes
  4. Access to this website may be suspended temporarily and without notice in the case of system failure, maintenance or repair, or for reasons beyond our control
  5. We reserve the right to, without notice, withdraw the availability of this website or any of its content and/or any of its functions, information or services
  6. We cannot guarantee uninterrupted and/or reliable access to this website and we make no guarantees whatsoever as to its operation, functionality or otherwise
  7. You are allowed to view, download and print out content from this website for personal use only in accordance with these Terms. All other copying whether electronic, hard copy or other format is prohibited and all other rights are reserved
  8. You shall only use this website in a manner that is consistent with these Terms and in such a way as to comply with all applicable laws and regulations and in particular, that you shall not (or not attempt to):
    • seek unauthorised access to our network or computer system
    • insert or knowingly or recklessly transmit or distribute a virus into our network and computer systems
  9. All copyright and all other intellectual property rights existing in this website (including, but not limited to, all design, text, graphics and the selection or arrangement thereof) are and remain our property
  10. The expression 'copyright' shall include the entire copyright, design right, rental right, right to authorise or prohibit lending and data right subsisting now or created at any time
  11. While we endeavour to ensure that the information contained on this website is accurate, complete and up-to-date, we make no representations or warranties, whether express or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for purpose of such information
  12. We make no representations or warranties, whether express or implied, that this website or any software of any nature available on, downloaded or otherwise obtained from it, will be free from defects or viruses. Your use of this website is at your own risk
  13. We make no representations or warranties as to whether the information available on this website complies with the regulatory regime of countries from which the pages of this website may be accessed
  14. We may log your IP address (which indicates the location of your computer on the Internet) for the purpose of systems administration and troubleshooting.
  15. If you provide your e-mail address in order to submit an enquiry, comment or request for further information, we may contact you regarding your enquiry, comment or request. We may also send e-mails to you about the services that we offer.
  16. From time to time we may provide your information to our marketing or IT departments for research and analysis purposes so that we can monitor and improve the services we provide. We may occasionally contact you by post, email or telephone to ask you for your feedback and comments on our services.
  17. The failure by us to insist on any occasion upon performance of these Terms shall not thereby act as a waiver of such a breach or an acceptance of any variation of these Terms
  18. A person who is not a party to these Terms may not enforce any of its terms or conditions under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999
  19. These Terms shall be governed by, construed and enforced in all respects in accordance with the Laws of England