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Knowledge Exchange: Health & Wellbeing in Museums


This Knowledge Exchange event explored how museums and galleries can help to improve health and wellbeing within their communities as well as how they can effectively work in partnership with health and social care practitioners.

Speakers included Diana Morton, Senior Museum Development Manager at Museums Galleries Scotland,  Ruthanne Baxter, Civic Engagement Manager of Heritage Collections at the University of Edinburgh, and Alicia Watson, Learning and Access Curator at Glasgow Museums.

(00:00 – 02:57) Diana Morton, Museums Galleries Scotland.

Diana introduces the session and explains health and wellbeing as a priority area in Scotland’s Museums & Galleries Strategy.

(02:58 – 21:55) Ruthanne Baxter, University of Edinburgh.

Ruthanne is the founder of Prescribe Culture, the University of Edinburgh’s flagship heritage-based non-clinical health and wellbeing initiative. Ruthanne speaks about the programme and how it has been supporting those with mental health issues through social and cultural prescribing.

(21:57 – 55:31) Alicia Watson, Glasgow Life Museums.

Alicia leads on Glasgow Museums Ageing Well programmes. In her presentation, Alicia explores Glasgow Museum’s project with Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland as well as Glasgow Museums health and wellbeing work across their multiple venues.

Watch the video

Download the transcript
Full video transcript
(DOCX, 56 KB)

Further resources

University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh’s Prescribe Culture programme.

Glasgow Life Museums

Glasgow Museums Ageing Well programme.

University College London (UCL)

UCL Museum Wellbeing Measures Toolkit.

This toolkit provides scales of measurement used to assess levels of wellbeing arising from participation in museum and gallery activities. The Toolkit has been designed to help people involved in running in-house or outreach museum projects, evaluate the impact of this work on the mental wellbeing of their audiences.