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Ways of seeing: A model for community partnership working

Author(s): Gill Hart

Journal: University Museums and Collections Journal
ISSN 2071-7229

Volume: 2;
Start page: 91;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Programs for people recovering from mental health problems

This project was devised by staff at The Cambridge Resource Centre for individuals recovering from mental health problems and the Fitzwilliam Museum Education department. The aim was to move towards a program that was inclusive and did not involve segregated access for people recovering from mental health problems. Sessions took place at the Resource Centre and were open to mental health service users and the general public. A five-week course gradually moved away from the Resource Centre and into the museum. A quote from a participant: “I walked past a couple of paintings in the museum that we had looked at previously as a group. I felt such a shiver of delight as I looked at a painting I'd otherwise paid little mind to – thinking about what I knew about it now. The joy of recognition; the beginning of knowledge & skills.”’ Some participants signed up for a ten-week course taking place in the Fitzwilliam Museum and at Kettle’s Yard. Members of the public booked places on the course (30% of the places were allocated to those referred by the Resource Centre). Participants visited different departments within the museum and met keepers, technicians and other staff as well as taking part in group discussions and debates. This project was rigorously evaluated using questionnaires, discussion and consultation.
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