Textile Museum’s Youth Crime Initiative Shortlisted for European and Regional Awards

A textile museum in the Nottinghamshire village of Ruddington is launching a new innovative education programme, which has already been shortlisted for both European and regional awards. The programme aims to encourage children to think about the consequences of their actions, and to refrain from criminality. Addressing issues such as joining gangs, theft, and criminal damage, the museum uses its history to create an environment where the children get to see the consequences of their actions and how these affect their future, and the lives of others.

The new education programme, which includes a unique interactive film, forms the second stage of the museum’s major Lottery funded redevelopment. The film, which was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Nottinghamshire County Council, is already being recognised as pioneering and has been shortlisted for the European Heritage in Motion Awards, and the Award for Innovation at the East Midlands Heritage Awards. You can see the film at www.frameworkknittersmuseum.org.uk/educational-visits/interactive-luddite-drama.
In addition the recent redevelopment of the museum was undertaken as a collaborative partnership with Rushcliffe School, with the students also starring in the film as well. This partnership has also been recognised at the East Midlands Heritage Awards, and has been shortlisted for the Award for Engaging Children and Young People.

The Heritage in Motion Awards is an annual international competition that recognises the creators of multimedia projects related to Heritage across Europe. The Framework Knitters Museum’s interactive film is the only English project to be selected for the shortlist stage this year. Winners will be announced at the annual European Museum Academy conference in Brescia, Italy, on Friday 8 May. Visit heritageinmotion.eu for more information.

The East Midlands Heritage Awards celebrates the museums and heritage organisations across the region. The winners will be announced on Tuesday 9 June.

Paul Baker, museum manager, said “The new educational resource was inspired in part by the 2011 riots which spread across the country. The sight of young people engaged in criminal damage on the streets of Britain made me think about the riots the frameworkers were engaged in. In the aftermath the stories of young people losing their jobs as a result of their involvement led me to consider how we might use our historic story in an entertaining and thought provoking way to encourage young people to explore the possible consequences of their actions and if such actions can ever be justified. We are absolutely thrilled to have been shortlisted for both the European and regional awards, it is an honour to be included and a great compliment to everyone involved.”

The interactive film, which was filmed on-site at the museum and at the Galleries of Justice Museum, takes students on a journey set during the height of the Luddite riots during the early 19th century. Audiences are able to change the direction of the story by making decisions at key points. While watching the film pupils will confront and debate the same dilemmas faced by the Luddites, such as whether to join the rioters, the union, or to take no action, and in doing so the children consider the impact their actions have and give them an insight into the consequences each decision holds. This 200 year old story offers schools the opportunity to confront historic issues which are similar to the problems faced today such as those relating to gangs, rioting and criminal damage.

The Framework Knitters Museum launched stage one of its £100,000 redevelopment at the end of July, which included the launch of two new galleries including one addressing the social conditions which led to the Luddite revolt. The film is supported by a full range of educational resource material.

The film and other educational resources have been created to support history and citizenship within the National Curriculum and will eventually be made available free to all schools. The interactive film will also be available to the public at the museum on selected days throughout the year. Details will be available on the museum website.

For more information please visit the museum website or contact the museum on 0115 984 6914 or office@frameworkknittersmuseum.org.uk.

Laura Stevens, PR and Marketing Consultant.

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