Busts on display inside the Ashmolean Museum. Photo by John Cairns

  Inside the Ashmolean Museum. Photo by John Cairns

Improving accessibility for older people at the Ashmolean Museum

Ashmolean for All is an ambitious programme of public engagement at the Ashmolean Museum.

As part of this scheme, the Meet Me at the Ashmolean appeal was launched to focus specifically on the needs of older visitors. Thanks to the support of over 200 donors, more than £78,000 has been raised to make the museum’s spaces friendlier and more accessible, helping older visitors improve brain health through cognitive stimulation, physical activity and social interaction.

Participants of the Meet Me at the Ashmolean programme. Photo by John Cairns
  Participants of the Meet Me at the Ashmolean programme. Photo by John Cairns

By connecting older people to the collections, the museum will become an even more engaging venue, particularly for those who are experiencing loneliness or living with dementia. The Ashmolean is now in the process of developing an Older People’s Action Team to help drive practical changes in the galleries such as improved seating, ramp access and clearer labelling.

Beth McDougall, Gardens, Libraries and Museums Community Engagement Officer: Older People, says: ‘Older people are often viewed as implicit audiences and supporters of museums. The Ashmolean recognises that as we age, some of us will experience physical and intellectual challenges that lessen our engagement with museums. We want to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to connect with, shape and enjoy the museum in later life; and the tremendous support for the Meet Me appeal demonstrates the importance people place on making this happen.’


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