Hello my name is Catherine Hammond and I am the Heritage Education and Outreach Officer. I can’t quite believe I’ve been here 14 years! It has flown by.
This job role consists of doing a lot of work with schools and other groups to engage them with the collections at the museum. With schools I teach workshops which give children the chance to work hands-on with historical objects to help them learn about the past.
With other groups I do the same sort of thing, but over a much wider range of topics and age groups – I work with everyone from toddlers to families to older people, including those with additional needs. There are a variety of workshops and activities throughout the year that I develop and deliver. I also put together many of the resources and activities available for families to use in the museum, such as the play stove in the Day to Day Gallery, and trails. I get involved in lots of other work at the museum from developing exhibitions, giving talks and putting in grant applications to supporting other people on their projects.
I really enjoy my job and the team I work with. There’s so much variety and many interesting projects to work on and great people to work with. I’d certainly recommend this team as its very creative and supportive – we have a huge range of talents and skills that we share and benefit from.
After GCSEs and A Levels, in order to get my qualifications, I did an undergraduate degree in history which took 3 years, then I did a Postgraduate Certificate in Education which took 1 year – this gave me a teaching qualification which helped with becoming a museum education officer. I then also did a Masters in Archive Administration and Records Management – this gave me a lot of professional knowledge and skills which are useful for museum work, although my real love is archives – working with historical documents – and I was lucky enough to work at the National Archives for 6 years.
There are a couple of items I like at the museum. I’ve got to really love the Spradbery art ever since working on it for an exhibition. But my favourite thing is probably the nails that have been hammered into the fireplace in the Tudor Gallery – they are such a great connection to the people who lived in the house in 1670 (Thomas and Constance Taylor) and their beliefs – they put the little cross in to stop a witch from coming down the chimney!