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Top Award for Museum of Cannock Chase

Top Award for Museum of Cannock Chase

Museum of Cannock Chase Educator Trish Beckley in the 1940s room.

Museum Educator Trish Beckley in the 1940s room.

Staff at the Museum of Cannock Chase are celebrating being awarded the prestigious Sandford Award for the sixth time.

The award from the Heritage Education Trust is a quality mark for museums, castles, and historic venues. It is only awarded to those exemplary organisations dedicating their time and expertise to Heritage Learning.

It focuses on formal, curriculum-aligned, heritage learning programmes that take place in the historic setting or natural environment and use the history and collections or natural resources to engage, inform and inspire visitors.

In a citation praising the work that takes place at the Museum of Cannock Chase, the Heritage Education Trust identified the ‘passion and experience’ of staff to ‘meeting the needs of schools and the community’ by keeping the history of Cannock Chase relevant.

Lee Bellingham, Museum Service Manager for Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles – who manage the site on behalf of Cannock Chase District Council, said:

We couldn’t be more thrilled to have been awarded this prestigious accolade for a sixth time. We have a dedicated team here at the museum of staff and volunteers who are passionate about sharing the story of Cannock Chase and finding new and exciting ways to engage with schools and the community. This award is a testament to all their hard work.

The award follows hot on the heels of a £87,000 award from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, which will see Cannock Chase’s history available as a digital online catalogue.

The successful Connecting Collections bid revealed in July will ensure access to the museum’s collections and increase opportunities for everyone to engage with them, as well as improve management of the collections through digitisation, creating an online catalogue that can be utilised as the basis for new displays, engagement activities and research.

Neil Hutchinson, Managing Director of Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles, said:

It’s been an incredible year for the Museum of Cannock Chase. This quality mark is an endorsement of what all visitors know: that this is a quality learning experience that continues to keep Cannock’s history relevant to the next generation. We are delighted to once again receive this award, and my thanks go to everyone working at the Museum for their commitment and dedication.

The Museum of Cannock Chase first achieved the Sandford Award in 1998, and every five years, are invited to reapply. To achieve the award, sites have to meet six strict criteria, including quality learning resources and delivering learning programmes that engage, inform and inspire.

Welcoming the recognition, Councillor John Preece, Portfolio Leader for Parks, Culture and Heritage at Cannock Chase Council, said:

This is testament to the enduring appeal of the Museum; by schools, visitors and especially our residents who we know are passionate to see it continue to succeed and prosper.

To gain this national recognition for the sixth time is a credit to everyone associated with the Museum and confirms we have a real gem in our area dedicated to keeping alive our rich and varied history, and embracing new ways of telling those stories.

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