Museum’s community ‘climate cafes’ shortlisted for AHI 2023 Engaging People Award.
Organised by the Association for Heritage Interpretation (AHI), the Engaging People Awards celebrate the best heritage, nature, culture and science experiences in the UK and Ireland. The awards recognise projects that tell great stories about places, people and collections, and inspire visitors and local communities to explore and discover more.
Stromness Museum’s Climate Café project has been nominated for the ‘Calling Out Climate Change’ award. This category is for projects that engage audiences to highlight the impacts, challenges and opportunities of climate change and inspire people to think about the impacts of their personal choices and to take action that makes positive sustainable changes.
In 2021, the outreach team at Stromness Museum organised a series of ‘climate cafes’ in the community with discussions focussed on the idea of ‘changes in a lifetime’. Using objects from the museum’s natural science collection as a conversation springboard, the café invited people to think about changes they have seen within their own lifetimes which could be attributed to climate change and share views on the climate in an inclusive, non-judgemental space. Discussions were aided by interactive polls and fun hands-on activities.
Katy Firth, Museum Climate Change Exhibitions and Outreach Officer, said:
“We're delighted to be shortlisted for this award. The climate café project gave us the opportunity to raise awareness of the museum’s collection within the local community and highlight how these historical objects are relevant to today’s challenges.
“We hosted a number of climate cafes with local groups including the Orkney Men’s Shed, Young Farmers, SWRI and the Orkney Youth Café, all with a really positive response.
“This project has kick-started a whole new programme of activities for the museum, bringing biodiversity and climate change into much of the work we do. Insights from our climate cafés have helped us develop activities such as shoreline walks and snorkel safaris, as well as our current summer exhibition 'Nature in a Changing World'.
“It's fantastic to get recognition for this work at national level. We’re keen to continue climate conversations and engage with other interested community groups.”
The AHI 2023 Engaging People award winners will be announced on 13 October.