Dean Veall

Learning and Access Officer, Grant Museum of Zoology, UCL (United Kingdom)

As Learning and Access Officer at the Grant Museum of Zoology, Dean is responsible for developing and delivering the Museums programme’s for adults, families and schools as well as managing the Museum’s volunteer programme. In his role Dean has innovated in how museums can use their spaces and collections to engage visitors with academic research by forging partnerships with researchers, performance companies and audiences to produce an exciting and though provoking exciting events programme. As an experienced museum learning practitioner, Dean has been part of a range of research-practice partnerships to better understand the value and impact that participating in museum learning programmes has for audiences. These have included; Between Spaces (2017) working with psychologists from the UCL Institute of Education investigating museum based interventions with young people experiencing mental health care in inpatient settings, a UK-US partnership between the Natural History Museum, King’s College London and the University of Pittsburgh that developed a Learning Research Agenda for Natural History Institutions (2016); and the Museums on Prescription (2014-2017) project that sought to understand the impact of social prescribing programmes in museums on adults over 65 at risk of social isolation.

Museums on Prescription

Faced with an aging population, the issues of loneliness and social isolation are on the rise among older people in the UK. How can museums respond to this challenge and do these interventions actually make a difference? Museums on Prescription was an innovative research practice partnership between museum practitioners and psychologists at University College London and Canterbury Christ Church University who worked together to understand if a social prescription programme could help meet these challenges. Could a course of visiting museums ever become a normal prescription given by GPs?

Learn more about the programme

Benefits for the participants

To gain understand the role that social prescription programmes could have in museums and galleries. To gain an understand the impact of social prescribing on project participants To gain an understand the health and wellbeing agenda in the UK To be inspired by the impact of social prescription programmes in museums and galleries

Format of the workshop

Starting with a presentation of the Museums on Prescription project, workshop participants will break into small groups to examine the model of a socially prescribed project and reflect on how it may work in settings in local areas.