Throughout the school holidays Lewes Castle & Museum hold exclusive ‘Morning Explorer’ sessions for children and young people with SEND, and their families. The sessions last for one hour, from 10am, after which the activities are open to all visitors.
Our Compass Card Coordinator went along to the castle and museum to see what was on offer and how it could benefit Compass Card families. Generally the sessions are held outside in the garden, giving families space to explore, try things out and play in their own time and at their own pace. If the weather isn’t great the session will be moved inside the museum.
During the session you can explore the multi-sensory bags, take part in story sessions and activities and get involved with the exhibits on offer. They have fantastic carry cases, which are super accessible as they can be placed on a lap or wheelchair tray, with a whole host of exciting things inside to explore. As well as cool artefacts in the cases, there are picture symbols and short explanations of what the case is all about. There will also be dressing up, games, interactive stories and people on hand to assist and explain the history of the castle and museum.
The next Morning Explorer sessions will be held on:
Monday 16 August
Monday 23 August
Monday 25 October
You will need to book in advance as spaces are limited. Regular admission applies but all activities are included – and don’t forget that with your Compass Card one carer is admitted free of charge.
Aside from the Morning Explorer sessions there are braille guides, picture guides and large print guides available to visitors, as well as lots of tactile pictures. When you arrive you can download an app, which provides an audio guide to expand your visit. As you walk around the castle, museum and grounds you will pass points that will trigger the audio guide – it’s an amazing way to hear all about the castle and museum.
There’s also a fab listening bench, where you can listen to the audio guide whilst having a short rest. If you head into the Gun Garden Pavilion you will find a sound installation with seating.
Although some parts of the museum and castle are not fully accessible to all, staff and volunteers are always keen to help out and will bring exhibits, guides and resources to you so you don’t miss any of the experiences. There is an accessible toilet in the class room but you will need to ask for the room to be unlocked – but don’t worry, everyone at the castle and museum is keen to help and really wants you to get the most out of your visit.
The castle and museum are also keen to reach out to children and young people being home schooled. If you are home schooling your child or young person it is possible to book an educational visit tailored to the current learning you are undertaking. Groups of home schooled children and young people work best, rather than individuals, and it also means the cost will be less for each child or young person.
We were super impressed with everything Lewes Castle and Museum had to offer, and even more so at the desire of all staff and volunteers to ensure the venue is as accessible and welcoming to all as possible. We would definitely recommend a visit and if you have any concerns, or think there are particular aspects of your visit that need a little pre-planning, then we encourage you to contact Lynn Gayford by clicking here.