Experience Barnsley Museum wins Best Accessible Museum in Family Friendly Museum Award 2022

The Experience Barnsley Museums in Barnsley has won Best Accessible Museum in the Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award 2022, it was announced at an awards ceremony in London on Wednesday (19 October 2022).

Run by charity Kids in Museums, the national award is awarded annually to one museum, gallery, historic home or heritage site in the UK that goes the extra mile to provide a great experience for families.

Since it launched in 2004, the award has become a benchmark of excellence in the heritage sector. Each year Kids in Museums receives hundreds of public nominations, which are whittled down to a shortlist by an expert panel. The final say goes to families, who visit each shortlisted museum over the summer holidays, and decide the winners.

Competing against two other museums in the Best Accessible Museum category, the museum clinched the win with family judges reporting they felt comfortable and enjoyed lots of hands-on interaction. They rated the Makaton signage, sensory backpacks, accessible and Changing Places toilets, sensory toys in the shop and the inclusive range of books available in the galleries.

The Best Accessible Museum category recognises an exemplary commitment to accessibility and was judged by families with children or young people who have special educational needs, disabilities and access needs. Shortlisted museums will also be given feedback on how they can further improve their offer for families.

One family judge said: “The museum was jam-packed with interactive activities which was fantastic… The sensory bag and disabled toilets are exceptional. Staff are lovely, and they go beyond to help.”

Councillor Robert Frost, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “We are delighted to have won this award.  The team have worked closely with families and groups around the subject of access, and together explored options and implemented changes that has improved the visitor experience not only physically at the museums but also digitally.  The award is recognition of all the hard work that has been done.”

Announced in London on Wednesday, the winning museums in the Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award 2022:

Winner: Best Small Museum + Overall Winner

National Emergency Services Museum, Sheffield


Winner: Best Medium Museum

Museum of Making, Derby


Winner: Best Large Museum

National Maritime Museum, London


Winner: Best Accessible Museum

Experience Barnsley


Winner: Best Family Engagement Team

PK Porthcurno, Penzance in Cornwall


Follow the Family Friendly Museum Award on social media by following the hashtag #FamilyFriendlyMuseum. The Family Friendly Museum Award has been made possible by funding from Arts Council England.