This programme is a new outcome from Glasgow Museums continuing partnership with Contact The Elderly which started back in 2006.
Both partners observed how we struggle to attract elder men to take part in our monthly sessions and general museum programmes and thought we should try to address this with a programme targeted at and tailored specifically for this audience.
Men in Museums is a collaborative approach to get more older men out and about and enjoying the company of others, through museum visits. We started the pilot programme in August 2015, using local volunteer drivers to provide the transport, and Learning & Access staff within the museums to facilitate each session. A training day was held for volunteer drivers to introduce them to Glasgow Museums and the work we do with different audiences.
The outings take place once a month on a Sunday afternoon and participants are collected from their homes. We provide the transport and the refreshments and there is no charge for these sessions.
Men in Museums provide an opportunity for participants to explore the museums and meet specialist staff, through a flexible programme of talks, tours, events and workshops. The group visit a different Glasgow Museum venue each month.
Older men have traditionally been a hard audience for Museums to engage with. This group is now at full capacity with 16, and there is now a waiting list for places. Through time, we hope that the group will make suggestions as to the preferred venues, themes and activities, so we can further tailor the programme to meet their needs.
Verbal feedback from participants has been positive, but we feel that a structured evaluation could help us in developing and tailoring the programme further.
An evaluation is due to be carried out with this group, both with the participants and volunteer drivers in September 2016, once the pilot year is complete.
This work sits directly within Glasgow Life priorities for Early Intervention and Older People aged 65 years and over. Enhancing the health and wellbeing of people who live, work and visit the City; and in creating a culture of learning and creativity that lets people flourish in their personal, family, community and working lives.