RAMM nominated for two Exeter Living Awards
31 January 2019
Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM) has been nominated in two categories of the Exeter Living Awards 2019 – the Leisure and Tourism Award and the Civic Award.
The Exeter Living Awards
The Exeter Living Awards are an annual highlight for the city of Exeter. Organised by MediaClash, publishers of Exeter Living, the event has become a huge celebration of businesses in Exeter and the surrounding area. A panel of independent Judges decides the winners and the Award Ceremony will take place in the University of Exeter’s Great Hall on Thursday 7 March 2019. Keep your fingers crossed for RAMM.
A stand-out year for RAMM
The Leisure and Tourism Award celebrates enjoyment in the city, whether for tourists or residents. 2018 was a truly special year for RAMM. As the museum has celebrated its 150th year at the centre of arts and culture in Exeter, Devon and the Southwest, RAMM has touched the lives of so many people. In 2018, RAMM went above and beyond to connect with the people of Exeter, taking events out into the streets, into the Cathedral, into residential homes and even into local pubs with their anniversary beer, Albert’s Ale. 2018 has been a year of rejoicing in the old and the new, celebrating the museum’s heritage but also striving to create a better, more inclusive, more spectacular RAMM.
RAMM’s engagement projects
The Civic Award is brand new for 2019; it highlights the contribution of an organisation or company to the city of Exeter and its people. RAMM enriches the lives of many people in and around Exeter through its broad range of engagement activities and projects. From partnerships with Heritage Ability and Daisi to working with the Exeter Hindu Cultural Centre or BME community group Hikmat, RAMM forges bonds with a wide range of communities and provides many opportunities for people to take part, be inspired, learn, socialise, express themselves and start new conversations.
For the award nomination, RAMM highlighted some of its most notable initiatives of 2018, which included The Curiosity Shop project, where RAMM worked alongside Exeter City Council older persons sheltered housing officers, tackling issues of loneliness and social isolation. 2018 saw a new phase of the project begin, which concluded with a successful community exhibition in RAMM’s café space.
Another new initiative is RAMMbingo; this project aims to introduce the museum as an enjoyable destination for people with disabilities and those who work with them. While many local organisations working with people with disabilities and mental health issues are familiar with RAMM, individuals and their enablers sometimes need help finding the confidence to visit the museum. Working with local disability organisations CEDA, Magic Carpet and Pelican Project over a series of sessions from Oct 2018 to March 2019, groups (including disabled people and enablers) are working to create a series of bingo cards to make museum visits fun and welcoming, and to spark exploration and conversation.
Finally, 2018 saw the implementation of RAMM’s new approach to dementia-friendly events with a ‘Dementia-friendly Victorian Christmas’ event. The event was very successful, creating good feeling among museum visitors, as the event was more visible and audible within the museum than the regular (and smaller scale) dementia sessions, and promoted intergenerational contact and understanding.
Feedback from visitors and participants
Staff have been heartened by some wonderfully encouraging comments by visitors. If you have had a great experience at RAMM, let us and the Exeter Living Awards know.
“Amazing visit – every time! Please support this fab place by visiting often! The staff are a delight. The exhibits really interesting. Food is great and this is a fascinating day out for the whole family, whatever the weather!” – TripAdvisor review, October 2018
“Best free entertainment and educational source in Exeter: This place is quite simply riveting. It contains a plethora of eclectic displays covering a range of topics from anthropological to botany. Free entry and helpful cheerful staff make it a must do for any visit to historic Exeter.” – TripAdvisor review, Dec 2018
“Lovely atmosphere. Excellent talk. Lovely to see social time for carers – opportunity for them to chat about their care work and exchange.” – RAMMbingo, carer
“Awesome day!” – RAMMbingo, participant with disability
“So many people live alone and never see anyone. So to go somewhere and talk to people is wonderful.” – Dementia-friendly Victorian Christmas, visitor with dementia
“Today’s session was lovely. The Victorian Christmas room has given us a taste of travelling in time. Coming today with our two residents who are affected by dementia brought them back to their memories. Lovely staff.” – Dementia-friendly Victorian Christmas, carer
“I really enjoyed it as I liked seeing the smiles appear on the older people’s faces as we were singing and it felt like we had made someone’s day. I enjoyed singing to make someone’s day better…” – Dementia-friendly Victorian Christmas, primary school choir member
“Our art project was a fantastic way to bring people together and discover hidden talents.” – Curiosity Shop project participant
Exeter is an exciting and vibrant city and the competition for the awards is intense. Other nominees for the Leisure and Tourism award include: The Donkey Sanctuary, Exeter Golf & Country Club, Exeter Racecourse, Haven Banks Outdoor Education Centre, Stuart Line Cruises and Upton Barn & Walled Garden. Nominees for the Civic award include: Awcock Ward Partnership Consulting, CoLab Exeter, Exeter City Futures, Exeter Library, Freemoovement UK CIC, The Oddfellows and TEDxExeter.