Wheelchair basketball in a shopping centre took place as part of Mansfield Museum's Health and Wellbeing Festival

Mansfield Museum

Jodie Henshaw, 16.04.2018
Putting health and wellbeing at the centre of your museum
Mansfield in Nottinghamshire is, like many areas, facing numerous health challenges that have an impact on local services. Dealing with these have become a major priority for Mansfield District Council.

In recent years the team at Mansfield Museum has programmed more events and activities that aim to improve the health and wellbeing of people in the local area. This fits in with council priorities but also means that there is a wide variety of activities on offer for our regular audience.

We have worked hard to embed the museum into the heart of the local community for many years. Through exhibitions and events we have developed links to schools, local groups and businesses. We have also built up a large group of visitors that engage with the museum on a regular basis.

Because of this, programming and delivering health and wellbeing activity becomes an easy fit for the organisation. We offer activities to visitors in an environment that they feel comfortable and familiar with. An older couple who attend our Feel Good Friday monthly healthy lifestyle sessions said they didn’t feel like they could go into a gym but were happy to come to the museum.

In 2017 we ran our first Health and Wellbeing Festival, which included 70 free events such as workshops, walks and talks spread across two weeks and five different venues – from the museum and local arts venue to a shopping centre.

We were overwhelmed by the response of local charities, groups, businesses, clubs and churches that were keen to be involved.

We were able to engage with more than 55 different groups, and events included fitness sessions run by the local leisure centres, a coffee morning run by Disability Nottinghamshire, fire awareness by the local fire station and a reminiscence session based around music and memory.

Two of the most successful events that took place off-site were a series heritage walks run by a Walking for Health charity and wheelchair basketball in our local shopping centre.
The event was a huge success and is being repeated in 2018.

Jodie Henshaw is the museum development officer at Mansfield Museum