Community News

The Museum of the Order of St John shortlisted for national Family Friendly Museum Award

The Museum of the Order of St John has been shortlisted for the Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award, it was announced yesterday.

A young boy doing some arts and crafts at a yellow table
A youngster enjoying a craft activity at the museum. Photo: Kristina Sarkisyan

The Museum of the Order of St John has been shortlisted for the Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award, it was announced yesterday.

Charity Kids in Museums has run a prestigious annual award since 2004, recognising the most family friendly heritage sites in the UK. It is the only museum award to be judged by families.

From late March to early June, families across the UK voted for their favourite heritage attraction on the Kids in Museums website. A panel of museum experts then whittled down hundreds of nominations to a shortlist of 19 heritage attractions.

The Museum of the Order of St John is vying against 4 other museums in the Small Museum category.

A poster with a photo of 2 young children outside the museum and the words 'Shortlisted 2024, kids in museums, family friendly museum award

“We are absolutely thrilled to be shortlisted for such a prestigious award, which means so much not only to us, but our community partners and volunteers who work hard for every session. We aim to make the Museum as welcoming and accessible as we can for families; we are just delighted our families have enjoyed their time with us as much as we have with them!” Susie Batchelor Head of Collections and Public Engagement

The Museum tells the 900-year story of the Order of St John and St John Ambulance. Its collection of over 60,000 objects includes everything from ancient books and illuminated manuscripts, to pharmacy jars, armour, rare coins, medals, first aid equipment and ambulances.  

Free to visit and open to the public Wednesday – Saturday, the Museum of the Order of St John is a cultural hub for the local neighbourhood and St John Ambulance volunteers nationally. The Museum’s small team of staff and volunteers run varied and accessible programmes including free family activities, school workshops, gardening clubs, talk and teas, tours, and art for wellness sessions. From medieval soap making to casualty make up, there will be free drop-in family activities every Wednesday over the Summer Holidays. These sessions are regularly co-delivered by some of St John Ambulance’s youngest lifesavers – Cadets from 10-17 years old.

Over the summer holidays, the Museum will be visited by undercover family judges who will assess the shortlisted museums against the Kids in Museums Manifesto: a set of guidelines on what makes a great museum visit for all ages. Their experiences will decide a winner for each award category and an overall winner of the Family Friendly Museum Award 2024. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in October.

Follow the Family Friendly Museum Award on social media by following @kidsinmuseums and #FamilyFriendlyMuseum.

Follow the Museum of the Order of St John on social media by following @MuseumStJohn on Instagram.

The Family Friendly Museum Award has been made possible by funding from Arts Council England.

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