Leigh-Anne Stradeski accepts the 2014 Promising Practice Award from Pattie Dyer from MetLife
Eureka! The National Children’s Museum in Halifax, West Yorkshire is celebrating being the recipient of a Promising Practice Award from the Metlife Foundation and Association of Children’s Museum.
The international Promising Practice Awards, awarded annually, recognise innovative work being undertaken in Children’s Museums around the world. In 2014, Eureka! is among fifteen children’s museums being celebrated. Recipients of the awards receive a $5,000 grant and a profile on the MetLife Foundation Research & Practice Exchange database, which provides more than 100 summaries of award-winning Promising Practices.
Eureka! was selected for the award for their reinterpretation of a project run originally by Virginia Discovery Museum in the USA, called Special Needs Volunteerism. Eureka! is expanding Helping Hands, their award-winning inclusion project to include Volunteer-ability, an empowering pilot volunteer program for young, disabled adults. Working in partnership with the Next Step Trust, Volunteer-ability will provide an authentic “work” arena to help with integration into Eureka!’s day-to-day operations, helping the volunteers to develop valuable workplace skills and knowledge. Eventually, Eureka! has a vision whereby disabled children who use their Helping Hands services will have the opportunity to volunteer for the museum as young adults.
Eureka! Chief Executive Leigh-Anne Stradeski, who collected the award, said “Volunteer-ability will provide valuable, genuine work experience opportunities that will make a fundamental difference to the lives of young people with complex disabilities. The funding we have received through this award enables us to commit the necessary time and resources to this very worthy initiative. It’s especially gratifying as it follows hot on the heels of our VisitEngland Access for All Silver award, and is further recognition of our ongoing commitment to inclusion.”
Other recipients of Promising Practice Awards in 2014 are:
Amazement Square, The Rightmire Children’s Museum (Virginia, USA)
Brooklyn Children’s Museum (New York, USA)
Children’s Museum of Denver (Colorado, USA)
The Children’s Museum of the Upstate (South Carolina, USA)
The Children’s Museum of Wilmington (North Carolina, USA)
The Discovery Museums (Massachusetts, USA)
EcoTarium (Massachusetts, USA)
Imaginosity, Dublin Children’s Museum (Dublin, Ireland)