An award that celebrates imaginative, innovative and inclusive learning has been awarded to V&A Dundee at the 2022 Family Learning Awards today (Wednesday 27 April).
The Campaign for Learning announced V&A Dundee as the joint winner of the Building Brighter Futures through Learning Award for the museum’s families programme, including Design Busters, which was recognised by the judges as an innovative way to support families to learn together.
Design Busters, a series of playful design challenges created to spark imagination and engage families in developing creative problem-solving skills, is supported by Players of People’s Postcode Lottery as part of the museum’s family programme.
The popular design challenge was adapted from pre-pandemic workshops in the museum to a free Design Buster telephone hotline, online activities and a free book, ensuring it could continue to support families throughout the pandemic.
Around 20,000 free Design Busters activity books, featuring illustrations by Dundee-based designer Laura Darling, were distributed through more than 100 partners and venues including libraries, schools, Scottish prison family visiting hubs, national family charities, community centres, foodbanks, youth work teams and NHS children’s hospital therapeutic play teams.
Design Busters now also has its own drop-in activity space inside V&A Dundee with free resources set up to inspire creativity.
Tracey Smith, Learning Programme Producer – Familiesat V&A Dundee, said: “It means so much to us to have our work recognised by the Campaign for Learning in a category that celebrates imaginative, innovative and inclusive learning.
“Since the museum opened in 2018, we have worked collaboratively to meet the needs of families, educators and community partners, embracing and instigating new ways of working throughout changing circumstances.
“We share this Family Learning Award with everyone who has contributed to the success of the programme in reaching families. From the designers who developed and delivered design challenges, to over 100 community partners in hospitals, schools, prison visit hubs, foodbanks and family charities who made it possible for us all to support families and get 20,000 free Design Busters resource books directly into the hands of children across Scotland.”
Laura Chow, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “It is great to see V&A Dundee win this national award in recognition of its fantastic families programme, which is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. The Design Busters activities have brought so much joy to thousands of families throughout the pandemic, and bringing communities together is an important part of playing People’s Postcode Lottery.”
Juliette Collier, National Director (Families) at the Campaign for Learning, said: "V&A Dundee demonstrated the power of partnership to expand its reach to families working with libraries, food banks, family visiting hubs in prisons and community centres. The use of the Design Busters hotline at a time when people felt distant from one another was a great hook to ensure families felt part of something positive and creative.
“We congratulate V&A Dundee and all the award winners on their deserved success and thank everyone who took part in recognising and valuing the crucial role of families as the foundation for lifelong learning."