Just as every child has the right to play, the opportunity to learn and discover the world we live in is so important for developing creativity, physical, cognitive and emotional strength, and imagination, regardless of whether the child is healthy or has a life-threatening condition.These aspects of development play a major part in allowing children to reach their potential, while giving their families the life-long memories created by sharing these wonderful moments with their child, brother or sister.
Tŷ Hafan has been lucky enough partner with National Museum Wales, Amgueddfa Cymru who, through funding with Children and the Arts, has been running the Start Hospices Programme for the last two years. The aim was to make museums accessible to the hospice and our families so that they can experience new fun ways of engaging them in arts and culture. There has been a strong emphasis on inclusivity and building memories to cherish forever.
Our first family day took place back in May 2018 at Cardiff. Families had an adventure walk, heard under-the-sea stories, took part in a musical sensory session, and there was paint galore! The museum also came into the hospice to deliver sessions here, and feedback was extremely positive from both our families and staff.
The museum has been awarded further funding to provide another two family days, two outreach days at the hospice and a sibling programme, through 2019!! Our second day “From the bottom of the sea to the furthest star” held in January at Cardiff was another roaring success.
Our most recent day out was at St Fagans National Museum of History and the Family Fun Day “Fy Nghmru/My Wales” brought Wales to life for 17 of our families at a fun-filled day of Welsh costumes, dragons, love spoons and the amazing festival of Y Draig! We had special visits from Nessa, a dragon, a miner, a Welsh lady, some rugby players and St David himself!
The day was interactive, inclusive and, of course, fun – engaging our families with the museum and all its mysteries! The families paraded around the museum singing their festival song and one participant said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the day, I sang in the sun, parading around in front of everyone without a care in the world. Thank you!”
The staff at the museum and Tŷ Hafan went all out to ensure that all the families had mementos to take away with them, as well as a special family photo from our photo booth.
This is the second family day of 2019 to run from the Start Hospices Programme in which The National Museum Wales secured a further years funding. It was our first experience at St Fagans National Museum of History, and it was enjoyed by all. We look forward to holding a sibling summer camp throughout the summer holidays which will result in a sleepover at the museum.