Thackray Museum of Medicine earned a special commendation at the European Museum of the Year 2023 awards in Barcelona this month.
The museum has had a hugely successful year, with record visitors, a new senior team, critically acclaimed exhibitions and developments in their community engagement work, with a new community space opening this Saturday 20 May.
The award is praise for creating ‘meaningful connections and promoting social inclusion and being a transformative force for bringing together people of diverse backgrounds’. It is testament to the hard work and dedication of the museum’s staff and volunteers. They worked tirelessly throughout the museum’s redevelopment and have since provided an exceptional experience for visitors and the local community alike.
Record numbers of visitors have seen the launch of the Private Parts exhibition in January, followed by the Behind the Microscope exhibition in February half-term and an incredible Easter holiday welcoming over 4,000 people.
The community space, The Core, has re-opened following a long-term residency with NHS partners, and the museum’s partnership project with Leeds 2023 and Sable Radio, Culture Club, has been working with young people to explore the museum’s collection and share their stories in new, creative ways.
Edward Appleyard, Chief Executive of Thackray Museum of Medicine: “We are absolutely thrilled to have received this special commendation. This is a tremendous honour and recognition of the hard work and dedication of our staff and volunteers, as well as the support of our local community.
Our mission at Thackray Museum of Medicine is to engage and inspire people of all ages and backgrounds with the fascinating history of medicine and healthcare. We believe that our success in achieving this mission has been reflected in the record numbers of visitors we have welcomed this year and the positive feedback we have received from the local community. This award is a testament to the power of museums to educate, entertain, inspire and connect people from all walks of life.“
Quote from European Museum of The Year Awards: “The first special commendation goes to Thackray Museum of Medicine, a museum that serves not only as a learning space for exploring past healthcare practices and medical heritage, but also as a transformative force for bringing together people from diverse backgrounds. Located in one of the most deprived areas for employment, education, and housing, it takes proactive measures to engage with underprivileged communities, seeking ways to create meaningful connections and promote social cohesion.”