: Sandra Hedblad - Family Event Programme Manager

Museum of London - Spotlight on Sandra Hedblad
© Museum of London

Could you introduce yourself and tell us your role at the museum

I've worked at the Museum of London for nine years, during this time I've had a number of different roles but have worked with family learning for the last seven year. My role is to make the museum a more inspiring and engaging place for families of all ages and backgrounds.

The family programme has grown significantly in the last few years and it now includes a whole range of exciting opportunities through which families can get involved with and learn about London's past. I organise free events every Sunday and school holiday. These bring the stories in the galleries to life using storytellers, artists, actors and others. I also develop resources that families can take around the museum and use on their own. These include activity sheets and activity bags with hands-on activities.

Together with a selection of partners I run a number of outreach programmes. In these sessions I bring objects from the Museum's collection out or we might look at life of a Roman Londoner by dressing and cooking like they did.

How did you get into museum work?

Originally I studied to become an archaeologist, I then did an MA in Public Archaeology. This really fascinated me, how we relate to archaeology and history and what we can learn from it. We shouldn't forget that it is the past that has brought us to where we are today.

Working in a museum and in particularly working with families and children to share with them London's incredible past is a pleasure and this city never stop changing.

How many people work at the museum organising the workshops?

In the Learning department we are sixteen staff, we are all responsible for programmes for different visitor groups such as adults, primary or secondary schools, digital learning or under 5's for example. Many of our workshops are delivered by a core team of experienced freelancers that bring varied and exciting skills with them. We also work with a team of fantastic volunteers who support the events and sessions that we run.

What are the main aims of the workshops you run?

The aim of the family programme is to provide fun learning experiences that can and are enjoyed by the whole family, including all generations and interests.

With the museum's focus being London all our events also aim to inspire a passion for London, its story and its people.

How is the museum funded?

The Museum of London is funded by a variety of organisations and individuals. Our main funders are the City of London and Greater London Authority.

How are you involved with local schools?

I work with local schools on special projects and through partnerships with other organisations. We build links through special family fun days that we invite all the children in the local schools to.

How do you see the museum expand/grow in the future?

Much of this will depend on future funding, but families will always remain a focus for the museum as it's one of our most important and key audiences. Our newly refurbished Galleries of Modern London have got special family areas. In the next few years we will hopefully refurbish our Roman gallery. This gallery is one of the most popular galleries with families and it will be great to offer them a new and updated gallery suitable for 21st century families.

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