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Welsh museum in finals for major UK Award

The Winding House museum in New Tredegar has reached the final stage of this year’s Telegraph & Kids in Museums’ “Family Friendly Museum Award”.

The Award – Britain’s biggest museum award and the only one to be judged by families – considers which museums across the UK go that extra mile to welcome and engage family visitors.

After a record 800 nominations for museums across the country, the Winding house was 1 of 20 museums to be longlisted in May. Those 20 have now been whittled down to a shortlist of just 6, chosen by a panel of experts including historian and broadcaster Helen Castor, celebrity author and Kids in Museums Patron, Damian Dibben and Sharon Heal, Director of the Museums Association. The 6 museums shortlisted were selected as the top family friendly museums in Britain – and the Winding House has made the cut! It is the first time for nearly 10 years that a museum in Wales has been shortlisted for the award.

Baroness Kay Andrews, Trustee of Kids in Museums, says:

“I’m delighted to see that the Winding House is listed for the very prestigious Kids in Museums Award – what a great choice – and what a great win for Wales and its wonderful family-friendly museums! The Winding House is all that a museum should be, surprising visitors and local families and children alike with great story telling and involving everyone, especially children, in curating and understanding their history and their place in it. And so much of it is thanks to volunteers as well. Well done Winding House!’

Principal Museums and Heritage Officer, Winding House, Helen Willson says:

“We were thrilled to be longlisted in May as being among the 20 most family friendly museums in the UK. To have now been selected as being among the top 6 – reaching the final stage of the award – is such an exciting achievement and huge credit to all our staff and volunteers who do their utmost to provide a warm and friendly welcome and enjoyable experience for all our visitors. Since opening in 2009, we have always placed families at the heart of everything we do.”

Dea Birkett, Director of Kids in Museums commented:

“We are delighted that the Winding House has been shortlisted for the Family Friendly Museum Award. It’s the first time a museum in Wales has been shortlisted for ten years, so it’s a particularly special and exciting achievement to have gathered such huge support from visitors, volunteers and staff. The Winding House manages to be firmly rooted in the community, involving local people in their history, as well as offering activities and insights that would rival any museum in Britain. Most of all, they listen to their visitors, empowering them about their past, supporting them in their futures.’

Throughout the summer, “undercover” family judges will visit each shortlisted museum and judge it for its family friendly qualities. The eventual winner will be announced on Thursday 24th September.

If anyone would like to be one of the mystery family museum judges and help to choose the winner then please email awards@kidsinmuseums.org.uk

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