Scarborough Museums Trust joins nationwide scheme to address climate change

Scarborough Museums Trust is one of 13 museums and heritage organisations chosen to join a nationwide scheme which aims to inspire museums to address present-day issues such as climate change.
Scarborough is one of the 13 museum's taking partScarborough is one of the 13 museum's taking part
Scarborough is one of the 13 museum's taking part

The No Going Back Peer Learning Programme is run by the Happy Museum Project, an Arts Council England-funded programme which looks at how the museum sector can respond to the challenge of creating a more sustainable future.

The programme builds on the particular power of museums to draw on past stories of rapid transition and transformation, and aims to inspire museums and their communities to shape new stories and actions to address the climate and ecological emergency. The teams will work as a community of practice to explore and shape ideas; to offer and receive review and feedback, and to refine their thinking and working.

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Christine Rostron, learning manager at Scarborough Museums Trust, said: “We are delighted to be given the chance to work with museum colleagues across the UK to help us think about how museums can work with local communities and respond positively to creating a sustainable future.

“We recognise that we operate in one of the most important coastal regions in Europe and are lucky enough to have extremely important geological and natural history collections. We are especially keen to use these objects to tell stories about the environment and support local children to learn to love their natural surroundings and to be advocates for positive environmental change.

“In 2019, in partnership with Invisible Dust, we delivered Future Fossils, a learning project with a local primary school that demonstrated humans’ impact on our environment and supported children to become activists and advocates for our local environment. One Year 4 participant said: ‘It gave me confidence that by working together we CAN change the world. It’s not just for Scarborough, it’s something all young people around the world should do.’

“The Happy Museum project will help us to build on and continue this type of work with our local community.”

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Andrew Clay, chief executive of Scarborough Museums Trust, said: “As a museum service working on the Yorkshire Coast we are committed to playing our part in protecting and raising awareness of the environment.

“We are also the custodians of a collection of significant environmental and scientific interest and we feel duty bound to make the collection fully available for vital research, and to help the Trust move to a position where we embrace and declare a climate emergency.”

The 13 museums chosen to take part range from the Cornwall Museums Partnership to Oriel y Parc National Park Visitor Centre and Landscape Gallery, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, and also include Leeds Museums and Galleries, Saltaire World Heritage Education Associations, Wakefield Museums and Castles and Yorkshire’s Maritime City project from Hull Culture and Leisure.