Spring school « Social Heritage & Wellbeing » 23-27 mai 2022

In the spring of 2022 Museum Dr. Guislain Academy will team up with the National Waterfront Museum in Wales. There they will be assisted by the Heritage Centre SCJM from Belgium and The National Archives UK. Together they’ll deliver the International Winter School Cultural Heritage & Wellbeing from 23 until 27 of May 2022 in Swansea.

Green spaces of care and community engagement

This spring school wants to support professionals working in or with the cultural heritage sector in the development of outreach programs using heritage collections for wellbeing activities. The focus during the spring school is on green spaces of care and community engagement. For five days the participants, depending on their level of experience, are going to be guided in developing an offering ranging for people with dementia to working with communities around mental health issues. The participants will come into contact with a wide range of methods and instruments that already are been used by inspiring cases were cultural heritage collections are used for the improvement of the wellbeing of specific target groups.

Team of experts

The spring school is to be delivered by a highly experienced team of experts who are leading in different fields connected to cultural heritage and wellbeing:

  • Bart De Nil, Expert wellbeing, culture and community engagement, Belgium.  Developed training programs and published several books about cultural heritage, health and wellbeing based on this own experience as a practitioner and researcher. Organised and delivered many international training programmes.
  • Bart Marius, artistic director Museum Dr. Guislain, Belgium  Is leading an internationally renowned museum about mental health that uses its museum grounds as a place of care. Their focus is on creative community engagement in co-operation with neighborhood health centers.
  • Zoë Gealy, Community Partnerships and Engagement Co-ordinator, Amgueddfa Cymru, National Waterfront Museum, UK. Leads on Community partnerships and engagement for disadvantaged and protected characteristics groups. Focusing on health and wellbeing. Leads on GRAFT community garden alongside freelance artist Owen Griffiths.
  • Owen Griffiths, artist, workshop leader and facilitator, UK. In his socially engaged practice he works with food systems, land use and collaborative processes to explore the possibilities of art to create new frameworks, resources and systems. He leads a number of long-term projects including GRAFT: A Soil Based Syllabus.
  • Kaat Leeman, director Heritage Centre of the Sisters of Charity, Belgium. Manages a unique collection that she uses for wellbeing activities that combines object handling and storytelling. Her storages are open to people recovering from mental health issues, who then choose an object and create a story connected to or inspired by it.
  • Andrew Payne, Head Education and Outreach at The National Archives, UK. Leads on the development of programmes and services to engage audiences of all ages with the collection of The National Archives. Has worked internationally on programmes using archives for education, community outreach, artistic inspiration and well-being.

Venue? National Waterfront Museum, Swansea (Wales, UK)

National Waterfront Museum, Swansea (NWMS) is part of Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales, one of seven museums and one collection centre located across Wales. NWMS focuses on Industrial History and is based in the heart of Swansea’s city centre overlooking the marina, which houses many of the cities’ cultural venues. NWMS is unique from other National Museums in that there is a longstanding partnership between the museum and the City and County Council, which has helped with the museum’s long history of community engagement. Many in Swansea refer to the venue as a ‘Community Hub’.

NWMS is a fully accessible site with changing facilities, disabled access and a ‘Chill Out’ room for anyone such as those with autism to go and take a breather away from all the activity. The museum was delighted to be named the First Museum of Sanctuary in the U.K. in 2018 for the work accomplished over the past 15 years with Refugee and Asylum seekers and ethnic minority groups. The museum hosts events in partnership with many local groups/projects/charities such as National Play Day, Swansea PRIDE, Swansea Science Festival etc. In 2018 NWMS developed GRAFT, a soil-based syllabus, as part of a city-wide art commemoration for World War One. The garden has continued to develop as a successful edible green space that is managed by volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds and adds an extra element for visitors attending the museum space.

Who is the training course for?

• Professionals working in cultural heritage organizations (museums, archives, galleries, libraries with special collections)
• Students in the field of creative health, museum studies, etc.
• Researchers in the field of creative health, museum studies, etc.

At the end of the training course, you’ll be able to develop a resource for a specific target group, can design wellbeing activities, make a detailed plan of the resource and present the rational of the resource to a group. You’ll also receive a certificate.


Fill in this form if you are interested to participate at this international training program. When the registration opens, we’ll then send you an email with all the information and the possibility to register.

The spring school is organized by Museum Dr. Guislain and the National Waterfront Museum in co-operation with Heritage Center SCJM and The National Archives UK.

The organizers are monitoring the COVID-19 situation. We will take all necessary health and security measures to assure that the winter school can take place in safe conditions. However, if we are unable to organize due to new health restrictions, we will suspend and move the winter school to a later date. If this is the case, we will inform you as soon as possible. Your registration will still be valid. If you do not wish to attend on a new date you will be able to cancel your registration at no cost and your registration fee will be refunded.