Museum Activities

A pocket guide to arts activities for people with dementia – By Collective Encounters 

Arts in health toolkit – Created by The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, a toolkit that offers insight and practical advice into facilitating art-related activities in adult hospitals.

Becoming a dementia friendly arts venue: A practical guide – A new publication is now available on how arts venues can make their facilities and services more accommodating for people affected by dementia. Suitable for for arts venue managers and staff on making the environment, facilities and programming of arts venues accessible to people with dementia, families and carers.

Brighter Futures Together: Create Intergenerational Projects – A concise toolkit for designing intergenerational projects, with links to more detailed information.

Creative Families Project, Fitzwilliam Museum – Example of a project that engages carers and their very young children together.

Guidelines for activities with older people – By NICE.

Good practice guidelines for intergenerational work  – A series of practical guidance sheets for setting up intergenerational projects, produced by Camden Council.

Heritage in Health: A guide to using museum collections in hospitals and other healthcare settings – This guide advice for museum professionals with all levels of experience. The focus is on healthcare settings and activities which points to participant welfare,  collections care, and on developing relationships with healthcare staff to support projects and gain an understanding of safety concerns specific to such environments.

Improving communication training and compassionate care using arts-based methods – Olwen Minford is an end of life care facilitator and psychotherapist who currently works in London. She has recently completed an eight-week Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travel Fellowship to North America and Australia, enabling her to research improving communication training and compassionate care using arts-based methods.

Learning for older people in care settings – A guide for activity coordinators and
care staff – By the National Voice for Lifelong Learning

Live life to the full: Dementia friendly Kirklees toolkit – Using the paradigm of Kirklees, get some ideas on creating dementia friendly environments.

Live life to the full: Making Kirklees a dementia friendly place to live – Using the paradigm of Kirklees, you can get ideas on dementia awareness staff training.

Memories in the Community: Creative Ways with Life Stories – A Toolkit – Ideas for ways to use reminiscence and story telling with older people or people living with learning disabilities or sensory impairments.

Museums Change Lives – The Museums Association website provides case studies to illustrate work with a variety of audiences.

Museums Association Dementia Toolkit – Clear, practical guidance on object handling activities in museums with people suffering dementia.

Museums on prescription: A guide to working with older people – A concise toolkit-style guide (2017) to how to devise and run wellbeing-focused groups for older people in museums.  The recommendations in this guide result from a research project carried out by researchers at University College London and Canterbury Christ
Church University.

Older people: independence and mental wellbeing – NICE guidance for good practices in supporting older people through interactive activities, volunteering and understanding populations at risk of isolation.

Open to all – Mental Health and Social Inclusion Awareness Training Manual for Museums and Galleries. A partnership project involving The Wallace Collection, Victoria and Albert Museum, MLA Council, Tate Modern, The University of Nottingham, Lost Artists Club, Nottinghamshire County NHS Teaching Primary Care Trust, Portugal Prints and the National Social Inclusion Programme, part of the National Institute for Mental Health, England (NIMHE). For more information please contact Theo Stickley at

Putting the wunder back into the wunderkammer – Islington Museum’s practical advice on running a successful, collaborative partnership project between arts and heritage organisations.

Re-imagine: Improving access to the arts, galleries and museums for people with learning difficulties – A 2014 review by Lemnos and Crane mapping good practice across museums, galleries and arts organisations, with case studies and recommendations.

Sensory Backpack for Children with Visual Impairments – An innovative project launched in the Ceramics Gallery at the V&A in 2015.

Shifting Perspectives – Opening up museums and galleries to blind and partially
sighted people. By RNIB.

Singing and dancing for older people’s health and wellbeing toolkits – Arts for Health Cornwall has created two toolkits developed from projects that have taken place in care settings across Cornwall, pulling together the experiences and knowledge of care staff and practitioners.

Social Prescribing Toolkits – By Health Guides.

Sounding our heritage – GEM brings us this toolkit that provides guidance and resources on learning activities for people over 60.

Touching heritage: Objects to healthcare – Volunteer training manual developed for the purposes of building sustainable and best practice for volunteer-led Heritage in Healthcare programmes.

Tunbridge Museum Dementia toolkit– A toolkit providing guidance for dementia activities in small to medium museums. Developed by the Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery based on a research project with Alzheimer’s Society in West Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University.

Working with Hospital Schools: A practical toolkit – This National Portrait Gallery toolkit offers support for museums, galleries and hospital schools looking to collaborate in creative arts partnerships and programmes.