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Young People's Archive Pages

Youth projects at the Geffrye

(c) Geffrye Museum

The Geffrye Museum has had a Young People’s Programme since 2006. Below you will find information on our past work with young people and youth groups which includes a variety of workshops, creative projects, volunteering and paid opportunities.

For more information on any of these workshops and projects please contact Nicki Higgins: NHiggins@geffrye-museum.org.uk.


Spectacular Spaces Family and Young People’s Event

Spectacular Spaces event photographed by Jayne Lloyd for the Geffrye

Photography ©Jayne Lloyd / Visitors enjoying Animal EDUtainment at Spectacular Spaces

On the 28 July 2013 we began the summer holidays with a fantastic family and youth day in the museum’s gardens. The event was programmed by the Geffrye Youth Advisory Panel who organised and helped run a day of free activities including animal handling, craft sessions, live music, film workshops and garden games!

Animal Homes was a huge success in the side gardens as visitors held and learnt about exotic and unusual animals including; a giant land snail, a pygmy hedgehog and a bearded dragon. At Glorious Garden Frames children were inspired by the plants and flowers in the period gardens to design and create their own fabulous photo frames. All ages enjoyed singing and dancing to the talented local group Hipnotic from Hoxton Hall Youth Arts Centre. The group, who were all aged 13-19, performed all their own material and pulled quite the crowd throughout their two performances! During the 1000 Londoners workshop children and adults alike relished answering the question - ‘What will London be like in 10 years’ time?’ as they made Vox Pops for an interview booth and time lapse film with Chocolate Films, some lucky visitors even got to be part of the film crew! Finally, one year on from the Olympics we showed London was still as competitive and athletic as ever as children competed in Magnificent Lawn Games, a particular favourite being the tug of war competition! Thanks to the hard work of the Geffrye Youth Advisory Panelthe day was a huge success and everyone had a great time!

Brilliant Day! Full programme- Kept our 5 year olds busy and engaged. Especially loved dancing to Hipnotic/Emerge; the animals; and the fact there were different spaces to move around- inside and out. Beautiful setting. We’ll be back for sure- Visitor to the event

Today I helped the Geffrye to run the Run the Animal Homes workshop! I enjoyed seeing and petting some of the animals. Also it was entertaining to see the children’s reaction to the animals. Overall the workshop was thoroughly enjoyable, as well as the dayYouth Advisory Panel Member


Young Consultants working on the Museum of the Home Development

Young Consultants reviewing Museum of the Home development plans with David Chipperfield architects (c) Jayne Lloyd / Geffrye Museum

Young Consultants reviewing Museum of the Home development plans with David Chipperfield architects (c) Jayne Lloyd / Geffrye Museum

Between June 2011 and May 2013, the Young Consultants met with David Dewing, Director of the Geffrye Museum and architects from David Chipperfield seven times. They advised and commented on the architectural plans as well as the associated Activity Plan for the Geffrye Museum’s major Museum of the Home redevelopment project.

They discussed all keys aspects of the project including: the importance and need for the Geffrye to expand; the education spaces and what should be included in the refurbished rooms and education garden; the importance of improving access and circulation through the extension of a garden walkway as well as the new building and plans for a new library and restaurant.

Further to this between October 2011 and February 2013, the Young Consultants have discussed the Museum of the Home Activity Plans with Alison Lightbown, Head of Learning and Engagement six times. They have advised and commented on the overall proposed Activity Plans, future projects, interpretation strategies and projects and activities young people and young professionals would be interested in participating in during the development stages as well as when the new extension opens to the public.

It was great to meet with the architects and senior museum staff to discuss the Museum of the Home development. Being able to see the intricate models at the architect's practice and then help to develop and shape the design was a fantastic opportunity.

Young Consultant

We went to the David Chipperfield Architect’s office today, where the architects updated us with the latest development of the Geffrye’s new extension planning. We contributed with our feedback and our words were taken on aboard. It was a very impressive going-behind-the-scenes experience.

Young Consultant


Snapshots! - Digital Photography and Editing Project

Snapshots! Digital Photography and Editing Project

Over four days during the February 2013 Half Term, young people worked with museum staff, a professional photographer and graphic designer to document the changes in technology, taste, design and decoration of homes through the ages and created the ideal homes of the future. Project participants brainstormed themes, created storyboards and photographed objects throughout the museum.  They used Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 software to explore the ideas of home rituals, accessible design, surveillance, technology and modernisation that feature in their final artworks.

The participants' work will be exhibited at the Geffrye Museum, the Adobe UK Head Office and Rich Mix in Bethnal Green and be screened at the British Film Institute (BPI) in 2013.

Adobe Youth Voices logo


Youth Advisory Panel's Object Handling Session

Youth Advisory Panel member holding an object in the Edwardian room - photography Em Fitzgerald

Youth Advisory Panel member holding a museum object (c) Em Fitzgerald / Geffrye Museum

In February 2013, members of our Youth Advisory Panel had the opportunity to go behind the scenes at the Geffrye and be photographed with objects from our collection. They explored the collection store with one of the curators, chose their favourite object, conducted further research about their object and then worked with a professional photographer who took photographs of them handling their object. 

As part of the evening the Youth Advisory Panel members learnt more about our collections, and how the objects are stored and cared for at the museum as well as technical photography skills. These photographs will be used to encourage other young people to join the Panel over the next few months.

I enjoyed today thoroughly, as I got close to the object, I loved the detail of the object as it was pretty. I also got to get my photo in the room, which is a different experience. I liked the feel of the room.

Youth Advisory Panel member

I thought the whole evening was amazing, getting to touch the objects in a museum that the public aren’t allowed to touch, made me feel so special!

Youth Advisory Panel member

Today I learned about a piece from the museum and was photographed with it. I chose a curtain fabric design, which was a bold, innovative design from the early 1950s. I selected this particular item as I have an interest in art and design history and it is interesting to see how design ideas and concepts have progressed and developed over time.

Youth Advisory Panel member


Write Here, Write Now - Creative Writing Workshop

Creative writing workshop at the Geffrye for young and emerging writers of poetry and fiction

During the Unveiling the Past event on Sunday 24 February, participants worked with museum staff and staff from Spread the Word, London's writer-development charity. They took part in a creative writing workshop for young and emerging writers of poetry, flash-fiction and spoken word, and built on their written and verbal communication skills by writing and performing original works.

Spread the word logo


In Focus Film-making Project

Participant being filmed during one of their interviews (c) Geffrye Museum

Participant being filmed during one of their interviews (c) Geffrye Museum

Between October 2012 and January 2013 young people from New Horizon Youth Centre worked with Chocolate Films and museum staff on a documentary film. The Centre which is based in Kings Cross works with young people who are vulnerable, homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and staff worked with over 30 young people over the course of the project to develop a film for the museum’s archives and YouTube channels

As part of the project, the young people handled museum objects and created a film around their favourite object, the museum’s 18th century Ca Mau tea set. Young people researched the history of the tea set as well as the social customs surrounding drinking tea in the 18th century to devise, create and produce a film which included vox pops, interviews, a drama sequence, animations, drawings and audio clips which compared tea habits from this century to their own experiences of drinking tea today. 

The young people involved not only developed film-making and animation skills, but worked as a team to script-write, record and animate the entire film. They also developed their listening and communication skills throughout the project. The project ended with the young people attending a celebration session at the museum, where they were taken on a tour of the museum, visited the collection stores and saw their film screened at the museum in front of museum and centre staff.

To view the film from this project please visit our digital library. 

I enjoyed the whole project - it was fun but I also shot some cool footage and the animation part was excellent.

Young participant

I had a good session today where learned lots of new skills and I now know how to prep for filming and recording interviews.

Young participant

I really enjoyed using real professional microphones and camera and specialising and learning about tea today - and the company was very pleasant!

Young participant


Youth Advisory Panel’s annual Wishmas Tree Project

Youth advisory panel members adding their wishes to their Wishmas Tree (c) Renaissance London / photographer Benedict Johnson

Youth Advisory Panel members adding their wishes to their Wishmas Tree (c) Renaissance London / Benedict Johnson

The Youth Advisory Panel have organised the annual Wishmas Tree programme for three consecutive years. The programme is been inspired by the museum’s Christmas Past exhibition and encourages visitors to the museum to make and share a Christmas wish by decorating the Panel’s Christmas tree with a message, which helps the museum with their understanding of contemporary practices in the home. 

Last year visitors wrote almost 500 wishes with many visitors wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, wishing for world peace, love and happiness, for a snowy Christmas or for good health and happiness of family members.

I wish happiness, good health, peace and success to all my family and friends.

Visitor’s wish

I wish to have a nice Christmas time with my family at home J And I wish everyone a nice CHRISTMAS J

Visitor’s wish

I wish that all the English soldiers will come home for Christmas to see their family!

Visitor’s wish


Make Your Own Museum Audio Tour - Creative Writing and Poetry Project

Make your own museum audio tour project

Young people discussing objects and the themes of their poems (c)Jayne Lloyd / Geffrye Museum

Over three days during the October 2012 Half Term, young people worked with museum staff, staff from Spread the Word writing charity and a professional poet to brainstorm, write and record their own poetry and creative responses. They used objects from the collection and period rooms as inspiration, investigated the theme of ‘home’ and created an Audio Tour that visitors can listen to in the museum on 020 8588 1285!

Today I felt really good - I was able to get immersed in words and start producing things. It was nice to experience the poetry workshop style and atmosphere. The free-writing was really useful. I’m excited to continue and see what I am able to create.
A workshop participant

It was great! I really learnt how to give my thoughts a voice. I felt a new connection to the objects in the museum. The skills I have learnt will be useful in future writing and creative activities.
A workshop participant

Spread the word logo

Light, Paint, Animate! Young People’s Workshop

Light, Paint, Animate at the Geffrye Museum's Stories of the World Closing Ceremony event September 2012

© Jayne Lloyd / Geffrye Museum

On 8 September 2012, during the Geffrye Museum’s Closing Ceremony - Let’s Celebrate! event, nine young people worked with Geffrye staff and Chocolate Films to create their own stop-motion animation using light painting techniques inspired by objects from around the world. Hand-held light sources were used to ‘draw’ outlines and images in a darkened room, and the participants learned digital photography, animation and editing skills.

Three creative and dazzling short films were created which can be viewed in the Geffrye Museum’s  Digital Library.

Learnt about light-paint animation. It was fun and interesting and a real hands-on experience. I found it fun and a great learning experience!

A workshop participant

Really liked this workshop. It was fun and creative. I think these kinds of workshops should be held again. Thanks.

A workshop participant


Young Volunteer Tour Guide Tours

Young Volunteer Tour Guide leading visitors on a tour in the museum's collections stores - photography Jayne Lloyd

Young Volunteer Tour Guide leading visitors on a tour in the museum's collection stores (c) Jayne Lloyd / Geffrye Museum

Following their intensive training programme, during which they researched and devised a museum tour, eight young people delivered in-depth knowledge tours for the museum’s At Home with the World exhibition. As well as providing further information on key objects and themes covered in the exhibition, they also took visitors in the museum’s collection store to give them a behind-the-scenes look at how the museum cares for its objects not on display.

Between April and September 2012 these young people delivered six tours per day on eighteen separate days, with each tour having between four and twelve visitors. Every visitor thoroughly enjoyed the tour and was impressed with the young people’s knowledge and enthusiasm for their chosen objects and themes. As part of the programme, all the young people achieved the nationally-recognised V50 Award and were runners-up in the ‘Bringing Innovation’ category at the London Volunteers in Museums Awards 2012. 

I enjoyed the tours today on this sunny Saturday morning. I had nice conversations with different groups of visitors after the tours. And thanks to museum staff for their help and support.

Young Volunteer Tour Guide 

I enjoyed the last tour today as they were very polite and I feel that my tours got better as the day progressed. I feel more confidence now, when doing tours. Overall the day went better than I thought it would go.

Young Volunteer Tour Guide


Make a Scene Film-making Project

Young people handling and filming the museum's objects for their animation - photography Jayne Lloyd

Young people handling and filming the museum's objects for their animation film (c) Jayne Lloyd / Geffrye Museum

This was a six-day creative film-making project run in August 2012. Five young people aged 14 – 24 worked alongside museum staff and Chocolate Films to produce, direct, film and edit their own short films based on the museum’s At Home with the World exhibition themes. Participants went behind-the-scenes at the Geffrye Museum, choosing and researching objects from the collection, and bringing object stories to life through film and animation. The short films were given a public screening during an end of project celebration.

As part of the course the young people gained hands-on technical camera, sound and editing skills, presentation and front-of-camera experience, developed interview techniques, story-development and script writing techniques by working as part of the production team as well as object handling and research experience through their work with the museum’s collection. 

To view the films from this project please visit our digital library.

Today I began making a stop-motion film using objects from the Japan Mania collection. I loved learning about how cameras work and relished the challenge of getting the perfect shot. It was so satisfying to see our shots come together as a gorgeous animation.

Young participant

Today I helped interview visitors to the museum, Alex the curator and Mark a designer about the ‘modernism’ section - such good fun.

Young participant

Today I did my first stop motion film. It was so exciting as I never knew there were so many possibilities with stop motion.

Young participant


Youth Advisory Panel members as London 2012 Young Games Makers

Youth Advisory Panel members as London 2012 Young Games Makers before the London 2012 Water Polo Meday Ceremony

Youth Advisory Panel members as London 2012 Young Games Makers before the London 2012 Water Polo Medal Ceremony (c) Geffrye Museum

During the London 2012 Olympics, ten young people from the Youth Advisory Panel and museum staff volunteered for two weeks as Young Games Makers. They worked behind-the-scenes at the Water Polo Arena as part of the Print Distribution Team delivering competition results, statistics and reports to LOCOG, media and television stakeholders throughout the arena.

The venue management staff were so impressed with the Geffrye’s Young Games Makers’ hard work and enthusiasm that the young people were asked to help them and the BBC prepare for the televised Medal Ceremony by acting as athlete stand-ins for the morning to ensure all the camera angles and timings were accurate for the live ceremony. They were also privileged to be allowed to see all the Water Polo medals up-close and personal as part of the morning.

At the end of the two weeks the young people received certificates, batons and badges from London 2012 to thank them for their work and to commemorate such a once in a lifetime opportunity.

I really enjoyed working closely as a team and learning about a new sport. It was also fantastic to meet loads of other Games Makers and to be part of the bigger 2012 events. I go away with lots of good memories and a lovely uniform! It is also exciting that young people are given this opportunity and responsibility.

Youth Advisory Panel member 

I have really enjoyed working alongside the other Geffrye young people and getting to know everyone better over the past two weeks as well as the emotions, the anxiety and the pride in being part of team GB’s success as Team Geffrye.

Youth Advisory Panel member

I’ve enjoyed the fact that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to volunteer at London 2012. Also being able to enter the Olympic Stadium and go around the stadium and see the other amazing venues was AMAZING.

Youth Advisory Panel member


Arts in Parliament Project

Poets from the Geffrye Museum on stage following their performance - photography Jayne Lloyd

Poets from the Geffrye Museum on stage following their performance (c) Jayne Lloyd / Geffrye Museum

As part of the Arts in Parliament programme which highlighted the unique performances and exhibitions that celebrated artistic talent across the UK in 2012, Stories of the World was invited to take over one event day on Tuesday 24 July. The Arts in Parliament programme used Westminster Hall as an inspiring backdrop to showcase art projects commissioned by the national Cultural Olympiad, works created especially for Arts in Parliament, as well creative projects stemming from Parliament’s existing public engagement programmes. 

As part of the Stories of the World take-over day, the museum sector’s work with young people was showcased, with objects and collections from across the 60 museums involved. Three of the Geffrye’s Young Poets were invited to perform the poems they had written as part of the Poetic Licence Digital Storytelling Project. The Young Poets worked with spoken word performer Adisa to devise and practice their final performance before performing twice to large crowds in Westminster Hall. 

Many of the creative films produced by young people over the Stories of the World programme were screened during the event and the museum’s Giant Tea Cup and Saucers, which were made by Morningside Children’s Centre were on display on the main stage.

To view the films and hear the poems performed please visit our digital library. 

I started off the day really excited and happy and was looking forward to performing in front of loads of people at Parliament. I wasn’t nervous at all, just really excited to perform my poem. My first performance went really well, everyone from the public came up to me saying good stuff about my performance. Saying how good I was and that they enjoyed seeing my performance. My second performance was BRILLIANT.

Young Participant 

We had over 300 people watching the performance plus museum staff. I loved every bit of the day. When I was behind the stage I was nervous, but I was really happy to read my poem over the microphone in Parliament and was not nervous the second time I read it. I felt really happy to see all the museums that were part of Stories of the World perform/show off their films. At the end I met one of the MPs! She liked my poem which was great!

Young Participant


Young Consultants working on the At Home with the World exhibition

Young Consultants working on the At Home with the World exhibition

Young Consultants reviewing designs for the exhibition (c) Geffrye Museum

Between December 2010 and March 2012, the Young Consultants met with the museum’s curators and designers every three months to discuss themes and objects that should be included within the At Home with the World exhibition. Together they reviewed the text, the content and the panels to ensure that the exhibition reflected and included research conducted by young people, as well as new creative interpretations directed and produced by young people as part of the overall Stories of the World programme.

They also met with both the exhibition designers and the digital designers to review the overall designs of the exhibition and interactives to ensure that young people’s views were heard, discussed and acted upon. As a result of this consultation the Young Consultants helped to co-produce the entire exhibition.

I really enjoyed working alongside the curators to help plan the exhibition. It was really interesting to help to decide the themes that the exhibition would explore. I also liked working with the touchscreen interactive designers, as I am interested in technology and it was fantastic to see it being implemented in the museum

Young Consultant

In our meetings with the designers of the Stories of the World exhibition touchscreen interactive, we were consulted on both the design and content. I was made much more aware of accessibility considerations and how to build up a site with coherent navigation. Understanding interactive and website usability is a hugely useful transferable skill. It was exciting to see the final product in place in the exhibition, being used by visitors.

Young Consultant


Who Stole My Milk? Documenting Student Homes in London Project

MA Students from UCL working on the Who Stole My Milk Project


UCL Project participants at the Geffrye © Geffrye Museum

The Who Stole My Milk? Documenting Student Homes project was the result of collaboration between museum staff and MA students from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.

The project examined how cooking, decorations and personal objects come together to create a home away from home. Fourteen students from four houses and flat shares shared their houses and stories, and the UCL students researched their subjects and audiences to create the following:

· An exhibition of graphic panels in the Lower Concourse Cases exploring how student homes are shared spaces, scenes of conflict, compromise, friendship and cultural exchange

· A programme of events aimed at all ages

· A series of online resources to support the project, including ‘London Living: A Student’s Tale’ - a digital story and an interactive floor plan of a student home

It has been an amazing and invaluable experience to be involved in all steps of the exhibition process. I feel very privileged to, as a student, have been given the opportunity to write and create a real museum exhibition.

UCL student curator

I felt a lot more confident and proud of my work on the Student Homes project. I’ve improved my communication skills, which will help me professionally in the future.

UCL student curator

UCL Insititute of Archaeology 


Product Design Project

Young participant displaying the product they had designed and created (c) Geffrye Museum

Over a series of eight-weeks between February and April 2012, young people took inspiration from the collection and worked with museum staff and a product designer to design and make gift products that they would like to see sold in the Geffrye shop. Over the course, the young people designed and created bags, plates, tea towels and cups and saucers as their final products. 

The project ended with the participants creating a mock window display, which was photographed professionally, to show how they might display their objects in the shop and with the young people curating and exhibiting their work in the museum for visitors to see.


Photo Mosaics

Photo Mosaics workshop at the Geffrye Museum

(c) Seon Hye Heo / Geffrye Museum

On 25 March 2012, during the Geffrye Museum’s Going Global family day, 11 young people had the opportunity to work with a professional photographer to develop their photography and image-editing skills. Participants used digital cameras to photograph Geffrye Museum objects, displays, gardens, and each other, and used special software to turn those images into a large photo mosaic.

To see more photo mosaics from the day, please visit  The Geffrye’s Young People’s Pages on Facebook.

I really enjoyed today and it was a really good experience on how to make mosaic pictures. I would like to try this at home with some of my pictures! 
Young participant, 13 years old 

Enjoyed working with other students and having the chance to take pictures as well as exploring the museum.
Young participant, 18 years old

Had a great time using different software and seeing all my images in a final mosaic.
Young participant, 17 years old 

Young Volunteer Tour Guide Training

Young volunteer tour guide at the Geffrye Museum

Young Volunteer Tour Guide training session (c) Jayne Lloyd / Geffrye Museum

At the start of 2012, a group of 14 dedicated young people took part in our Young Volunteer Tour Guides course. They worked closely with a professional storyteller to learn public speaking techniques, and, assisted by our curatorial team, they undertook detailed research on objects and themes from the At Home with the World exhibition. They then spent several sessions honing their tour scripts around their research, and will deliver their talks to members of the public throughout the exhibition. During the programme the participants also had the chance to gain a V50 or V100, an award given by the charity vinspired which recognises the time they committed to volunteering and the skills they gained.

[I wish] that I had volunteered at the Geffrye sooner!  I have really enjoyed learning about something from the past and getting to know other people who have similar interests in learning about history – especially with respect to objects in the home. I enjoy improving my public speaking skills too!!

Young Volunteer Tour Guide

To see one of their exhibition tours please visit our what’s on pages.

Youth Advisory Panel Team Volunteering at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Young Games Makers at the London 2012 Olympics

Young Games Makers Interview (c) Vanessa Weibel / Geffrye Museum

Seven Youth Advisory Panel members and Young Ambassadors successfully completed a half-day interview and were selected to be London 2012 Young Games Makers! They and two Geffrye members of staff will join over 2,000 16-18 year olds and their team leaders to help make the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games happen.

Youth Advisory Panel Object Handling Session

Youth participant with a museum object

Youth participant with a museum object (c) Em Fitzgerald / Geffrye Museum

Back in December 2011, members of our Youth Advisory Panel had the opportunity to go behind the scenes at the Geffrye and be photographed with objects from our collection. They explored the collection store with one of the curators, chose their favourite item and then worked with a professional photographer who took photographs of them handling their object. Some of the results, together with earlier photo shoots, can be seen in an exhibition in our Lower Concourse between 14 February - 13 May 2012.

[What I enjoyed about today was…] learning about an object gradually. At first I only knew a few details about it – like a mystery yet to be solved- but gradually I learnt more and more about it, until I finally got to touch it

Youth Participant

Keats House Poets at the Geffrye

Keats House poets recording session

Keats House Poets Recording Session (c) Jayne Lloyd / Geffrye Museum

Two Keats House Young Poets were commissioned by the Geffrye to create poems inspired by the themes and objects featured in the Stories of the World: London At Home with the World exhibition at the Geffrye. The Young Poets recorded these poems, which will be showcased in the At Home with the World exhibition, at the Geffrye.

Recording and taking part in the commission as a whole has been so rewarding. It has been really good working with the Geffrye Museum, everyone has been really positive, welcoming and supportive.

Young participant

Young Ambassadors Talk to Young People at the Geffrye

Young Ambassadors talk to young people 

Supreme Summer (c) Hannah Salisbury / Geffrye Museum

The Geffrye Young Ambassadors have promoted Stories of the World: London to different young people and community groups at the Geffrye Museum – an ESOL young people’s group, students from BSix College in Hackney and the Young Volunteer Tour Guides, as well as during Half-Term workshops and events.

It was brilliant, especially the poem! 
Young Ambassador

I felt really good today, doing my pitch to BSix – it went really well and gave the college lots of information on what’s coming up!
Young Ambassador

Youth Advisory Panel Film Night

Youth Advisory Panel Film Night 26 November 2011 photographed by Hannah Salisbury

Youth Advisory Panel Film Night 26 November 2011 © Hannah Salisbury / Geffrye Museum

The Geffrye Museum's Youth Panel had their first-ever film night on Saturday 26 November, which included some fabulous films, pizza, popcorn and ice cream!

Panel members invited friends and young people interested in joining the Youth Panel to the film night. Participants had a chance to voice their opinion, meet people and have fun at this popular event. They chose from an array of DVDs, watched a few short films made by young people at the Geffrye (see the Digital Library) and helped programme February Half Term activities for young people.

I really loved this film night, especially getting together with people to watch movies. I think there should be more events like this – that would be really cool!
Young Participant

Had fun because I spent time with friends and met new people.
Young Participant

I enjoyed watching a film and being able to relax, and the nice atmosphere. Nice and friendly!
Young Participant

Stories of the World Conference

Still from “What Does Home Mean To You” ©Chocolate Films/Geffrye Museum

Still from “What Does Home Mean To You”,  ©Chocolate Films / Geffrye Museum

On 9 November 2011, staff and young people from the Geffrye Museum attended the Stories of the World National Conference in Leeds City Museum. The Conference was a fantastic opportunity to share skills, hear about the different projects across the country and learn more about how museums have used Stories of the World to develop new ways of working with young people and local communities.

During the Conference, the Youth Advisory Panel ran an animation workshop in partnership with Chocolate Films. Workshop participants were inspired by our period rooms, Stories of the World objects and everyday domestic items to create a short collaborative animation film looking at the idea of ‘home’ and what it meant to them. The film was entitled “What Does Home Mean To You” and was screened for delegates at the end of the Conference. 

What I enjoyed about today was… seeing how creative everyone is in such a limited time!
Workshop participant

I wish…. I had taken part in this animation workshop years ago – so much fun and it’s given me tons of ideas. Inspiring!
Workshop participant

To view the films from this project please visit our digital library

Unseen Me - Documenting the Home Project


Participant’s final photograph and caption included in the group exhibition (c) Yanique Harris / Geffrye Museum / PhotoVoice

Participant’s final photograph and caption included in the group exhibition (c) Yanique Harris / Geffrye Museum / PhotoVoice

Over a series of five weeks from September - October 2011, young people from The World’s End Estate in Chelsea worked with museum staff and PhotoVoice to learn and develop photography techniques. Throughout the project participants used photography as a way to explore ‘what makes a home.’ Participants were encouraged to take photographs that captured what ‘home’ meant to them and wrote corresponding captions.

At the last session participants curated their work both inside and outside St John’s Parish Church on the estate. The photographs inside will be displayed in the Church as a permanent legacy of the project with young people from the local area.

These photographs and captions will contribute to the contemporary London homes aspect of the upcoming At Home with the World 2012 exhibition.

The entire project has been a great taster and insight into a possible career or hobby doing photography. I gained greater experience than I thought I would have received. I felt all my questions were answered and so able to go free knowing how I could achieve the best results. It has been a great help and experience, meeting new people and learning new skills. Thanks J
Young participant

I have learnt skills with how to take photographs regarding framing, the use of shadows, light, and colour and angles. I’ve really enjoyed the critiquing of my photographs by professional and how I can improve and seeing my work on these walls.
Young participant

Youth Advisory Panel visit to Leighton House Museum


Participants being led round Leighton House by the Special Projects Officer at Leighton House Museum © Geffrye Museum

Participants being led round Leighton House by the Special Projects Officer at Leighton House Museum © Geffrye Museum

In October 2011 members of the Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) were invited to look around Leighton House Museum, one of the five partner museums that the Geffrye Museum is working with as part of the museum’s Stories of the World programme. YAP members were given a tour of the House by their Special Projects Officer, who gave them an insight into how the travels of Lord Leighton, its original owner, affected the exotic interior design. YAP members were able to examine samples of the ceramic wall tiles and touch replica silk wallpaper samples. They were fascinated by details such as the Syrian wall tiles and the wooden Egyptian lattice window covers which revealed how other cultures have influenced the House.

For further images please visit The Geffrye’s Young People’s Page on Facebook.

It was amazing to look at all the artwork and the different types of things they make from different countries.
Young Participant

I enjoyed going somewhere new and viewing interesting objects/rooms. Being able to interact with certain objects adds another dimension to museum learning.
Young Participant

The World At Home - Concourse Case Display

UCL Stories of the World project photographed by Em Fitzgerald

UCL MA students collaborated with the Geffrye on the World at Home display - photography Em Fitzgerald

The World at Home display and project, on view at the Geffrye from 17 May to 18 September 2011, was the result of a collaboration between the museum and MA students from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. The students chose eleven objects from the museum’s period rooms to feature in this display. The objects' stories were the narrative of England’s ever-changing relationship with the rest of the world. Through the expansion of the British Empire and development of international trade, the English middle classes brought into their homes goods as varied as pottery from Germany, tea from China and modern furniture from Scandinavia.  

More than just an exhibition, the students also worked together to design marketing materials, created Online Activities, organised events, designed activities for children and carried out visitor and audience research. For more information about the project please visit the Learning Pages of our website.

Behind the Scenes – a film-making project

Behind the Scenes filming project at the Geffrye Museum 

Participants behind the scenes in the Geffrye Museum stores (c) Em Fitzgerald / Geffrye Museum

This free creative film-making project ran over 8 days in August 2011. Young people aged 14 – 24 worked alongside museum staff and Chocolate Films to produce, direct, film and edit their own short films based on themes selected by the museum for its upcoming London 2012 exhibition. Participants went behind the scenes at the Geffrye Museum, choosing and researching objects from the collection, and bringing object stories to life through film and animation. The short films were given a public screening during an end of project celebration.

No previous experience was necessary to participate and skills development included:

  • technical camera, sound and editing skills
  • front of camera and presentation skills
  • story development and script writing techniques
  • museum object handling and research experience
  • working as part of a production team


Thoroughly enjoyed filming in the rooms and learning new skills (directing!)
Young participant

Wonderful teamwork experience.
Young participant

This project has helped my A2 media course and made me even more inspired about doing filming in the future!
Young participant

To view the films from this project please visit our digital library.

We can work it out – a photography workshop

Participant image from ‘We can work it out’ workshop  (c) Jayne Lloyd / Geffrye Museum

Participant image from ‘We can work it out’ workshop (c) Jayne Lloyd / Geffrye Museum

As part of the Supreme Summer event we ran two photography workshops for young people aged 14-24. Inspired by plants from around the world and the day’s 1960s theme, participants were able to use professional camera equipment to take pictures of the plants in the museum’s Victorian and Edwardian gardens. Participants used various coloured and mirror-card backgrounds to create some fabulous ‘flower-power’ photographs.

I loved using the gels to make the photos different colours. I learnt a great deal about exposure, focus and iridium. It was a fabulous workshop that has enlightened me on the art of photography, I am very glad that I participated in it.
Young participant, aged 20

Today I really enjoyed the photography workshop. Beautiful gardens, beautiful flowers and came up with amazing pictures. Feeling very inspired!
Young participant, aged 16

Free Your Style Drop Your Beat – a documentary film making project

Project-Free Your Style, Drop your beat

Participants filming on location (c) Em Fitzgerald / Geffrye Museum

Participants at the New Horizons Centre worked with Geffrye Staff and Chocolate Films to create documentary films about their views on homelessness, home and the city of London. Participants interviewed each other, photographed and shot footage of their surroundings, made sound recordings and edited all this into documentary films. The films were then screened at the New Horizons Centre during a end of project celebration.

Really enjoyed shooting, editing was good fun. Last week enjoyed learning techniques and this week trying to remember the techniques and the interview to camera was good fun. Working as a team to do something in real life on my career and my future can use.
Participant from New Horizon Centre

I am enjoying it. Interesting. Learn from each other what they feel and thing. You discover something you didn’t know – recognise what you have in common.
Participant from New Horizon Centre

To view the films from this project please visit our digital library.

Summer Picnic - Youth Advisory Panel

Participants at YAP picnic photographed by Jayne Lloyd

Participants at YAP picnic (c) Jayne Lloyd / Geffrye Museum

On a sunny afternoon in June 2011 the Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) welcomed potential new members with a picnic in the Geffrye Garden’s. The new members were introduced to the YAP through a series of “get to know you” games, including YAP Speed Dating. The new members then sat in on a panel meeting to see what they could get involved in if they joined.

I enjoyed a lovely welcome to the group. The games really helped (and food) and it was nice to be included in all the votes etc. straight away.
New YAP member

I really enjoyed meeting the new members and playing the games. It was really nice to have the meeting outside as the weather was really nice.
Current YAP member

Time Capsule Burial - Youth Advisory Panel

YAP Members in front of Time Capsule plaque in the Geffrye's gardens photographed by Jayne Lloyd

YAP members in front of Time Capsule plaque in the Geffrye garden (c) Jayne Lloyd / Geffrye Museum

As part of their March meeting members of the Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) buried their Time Capsule in the Geffrye garden. The YAP decided in November 2009 that they wanted to bury a time capsule as a lasting legacy of their time at the museum. They worked with an artist to devise and run workshops for other young people documenting ideas about themselves, their lives and their homes. These documents, as well as pictures of the YAP and examples of their work, were packed into a lead time capsule that was welded shut and buried in the side garden of the Geffrye. A plaque now marks the spot where it is buried, to be opened in 100 years time.

It feels as though I have become part of the history of the Geffrye. When I have children and they have children, I can tell them all about it and my descendants can come and see it opened here! Just one problem with it being opened in 100 years time… I want to be around to see it! Perhaps time-travel will have been invented in the future? Let’s hope so!
YAP member

I am pleased by the thought of future Akrams will know that grandpa Shakeel was a cultured fellow and will undoubtedly attend the time capsule opening ceremony.
YAP member

Move It, Make It! – one-day animation course

Move It, Make it, a Stories of the World project at the Geffrye Museum

Participants at Move It, Make It! (c) Irene Yap / Geffrye Museum

As part of the Get Animated family day on Saturday 26 February 2011 young people aged 14-24 joined participants from Totally Animated for a free one-day animation course. Participants investigated the fascinating stories of objects from the Geffrye Museum and brought them to life through the art of animation. They learned animation techniques from animators from Chocolate Films and produced a short film to take home. These films were shown at a public screening at the end of the day.

Today I felt pleased that I had achieved something (learning to use animation software and making a short film). I also felt happy that I had actually managed to complete the animation.
Young participant

Today we created and animated a stop motion picture about “Sunday blocks”, a Victorian toy for children. We learned new ways to animate and bring to life objects, and used our creative skills to design a story and characters emerged in the process.
Young participants

To view the films from this project please visit our digital library.

Totally Animated – a film-making project

Totally Animated project at the Geffrye Museum, part of Stories of the World

Participants filming in the museum (c)Jayne Lloyd / Geffrye Museum

During the February half-term holiday young people aged 14 - 24 worked alongside museum staff and animators from Chocolate films to produce, direct, film and edit their own short films. Through the art of animation, objects from the Geffrye's collection were brought to life, culminating in a public screening of the short films at the Get Animated event on Saturday 26 February. Participants were also invited to help Chocolate Films run an animation workshop as part of Get Animated.

I am really enjoying today – adding finishing touches to the production stage. We are about to do a voice recording and I’m really excited. I feel it’s going well!
Young Participant

Today I feel More confident in what I was doing. I felt happy and excited about filming.
Young Participant

To view the films from this project please visit our digital library.

Poetic Licence - a digital storytelling project

Young participant in the Poetic Licence project November - December 2010

Participant writing poetry (c) Sophie Verhagen / Geffrye Museum

This free creative project brought objects in the Geffrye to life with an exciting blend of poetry, photography and sound. Participants aged 14-24 had the opportunity to work alongside a professional poet, photographer and sound technicians from Chocolate Films in addition to museum staff. They wrote, performed and recorded poems inspired by their favourite objects from the Museum’s collection and took photographs of these objects within the period rooms. Participants then learned how to edit the audio and images together to create a unique digital story, which they could take home. These were screened at a celebratory event at the close of the project. The poets are looking forward to returning to the museum to perform their work live in the New Year.

I have enjoyed talking/learning about England and the differences of culture, textiles and designs through the ages.
Young participant

I enjoyed the recording process of the poems as I was stretched to full performing potential. I also enjoyed using Final Cut [editing software].
Young participant

To view the digital stories from this project please visit our digital library.

Homecoming - a film-making project

Participant in the Stories of the World Homecoming film workshop at the Geffrye

Participant filming in our Almshouse (c) Spencer Griffiths / Geffrye Museum

In the summer of 2010, we ran a creative film-making project for young people aged 14-24. Participants worked with museum staff and Chocolate Films for eight days to produce, direct, film and edit their own short films which were shown at a screening in the museum. The films were inspired by objects from the Geffrye Museum's collection, investigated the theme of home in London and brought participants’ own object stories to life. 

It was interesting, interactive, informative. It was fun and I learned a lot.
Young participant 

I enjoyed everything. I really enjoyed the filming and learning how to use everything. Also the objects, how to handle them and actually getting to film in the rooms.
Young participant

To view the films from this project please visit our digital library.

The Green Room

UCL students from the Green Room Project, 2010

Students from the UCL Institute of Archaeology

In 2010, as part of the Stories of the World: London programme, 21 students from UCL Institute of Archaeology worked alongside museum staff on The Green Room project.

During the project the students explored the history of the almshouse gardens and the connections to other countries and cultures that are represented by the various plants and herbs in the gardens. The students produced learning and web resources, planned and managed events, assisted with marketing and communications, and created interpretative displays for the gardens.

Animate! - an animation workshop

Participants learning how to use the equipment photographed by Olivia Hemingway

Participants learning how to use the equipment (c) Olivia Hemingway / Geffrye Museum

As part of the March Madness Family Day we ran a half-day animation workshop for young people aged 14 - 24. Using the museums' collection as inspiration, 9 young participants worked with Chocolate Films to create 4 short animated films.These films were then screened in the Museum's Reading Room to a packed audience at the end of the day. Our V50 intensive volunteers helped in the programming of this workshop by designing the trail which inspired the animated films.The V50s worked with staff in both the Curatorial and Education departments to devise this trail.

I liked it and I found out how stop motion movies are made.
Young participant

To view the films from this project please visit our digital library.

Director's Cut - a film-making project

Participant animating an object in our collection photographed by Em Fitzgerald

Participant animating an object in our collection (c) Em Fitzgerald / Geffrye Museum

Over February half-term 2010 young people aged 14 - 24 took part in a free 5-day film making project. Participants worked with Chocolate Films, an innovative production company, to produce, direct, film and edit their own short films.They selected and researched objects from the Geffrye Museum's collection and created their own object stories which they turned into films which they took home. 

Had a good laugh, learnt valuable film making skills on camera, editing and learnt composition is key!
Young participant

I really enjoyed the filming and learning how to use everything. Also the objects, how to handle them and actually getting to film in the rooms.
Young participant

To view the films from this project please visit our digital library.