London Transport Museum, The Conversation Hub, Dec 2011-Oct 2012
London Transport Museum (LTM) established a partnership with homeless charity St Mungo’s, in order to bridge the divide between the museum space and vulnerable adults on their doorstep.
Through the ‘Conversation Hub’ project London Transport Museum (LTM) worked with Happy Museum to develop and create ‘The Conversation Hub’- a social enterprise. The Conversation hub engaged individuals as Happy Museum volunteers on community projects that contributed to the social, cultural and economic vitality of the area thus creating a more integrated local community.
The Happy Museum at LTM acted as a pilot for a new way of working with community groups . By working with vulnerable adults and St Mungos, the museum became an active agent in the facilitation of a more integrated and happy local community. Through this project LTM became an active hub for conversations between local groups and increased wellbeing at the museum and in the local community.
The project vision was that the Conversation Hub created a social enterprise that engaged Happy Museum volunteers on visible, valued museum community projects and contributed to local social, cultural and economic vitality which led to a more integrated local community. Through our Happy Museum commission we sought to bridge the divide between the museum space and vulnerable adults sleeping on our doorstep.
Highlights included being listed as a runner up in the London Volunteer Awards. We had time to develop genuine mutual relationship with St Mungo’s, homeless charity and St Mungo’s initiated and won HLF bid for All Our Stories with Workers Education Association. The museum team had time for in-depth exploration and reflection and two staff went to national museums and shared Happy Museum thinking.
Challenges included staff turnover & part time staff delayed ‘conversation hub’ and social enterprise approach. Freelance delivery also made it hard to develop necessary support and long term relationships needed to develop meaningful relationships with vulnerable adults.