An award-winning Birmingham museum founded by world famous chocolate-maker philanthropist George Cadbury is to launch a series of resources to support visitors with autism.

Bournville’s Selly Manor Museum has worked closely with pupils from Selly Oak Trust School and not-for-profit social enterprise Communicate2U, to develop a short film to prepare visitors with autism for what they can expect when they visit.

The Museum has also worked with Commmunicate2U to create easy-read versions of its information books and all staff have been trained in autism awareness.

Front (L to R): Pupil Cameron Lovell, Nicki Lupton (from Selly Manor Museum) and Caitlin Brason Back (L to R): Pupil Yousef El-Aradi and Dan Waldron (from Communicate2U)

The new resources will be tried and tested by pupils from the School, which specialises in supporting students with special educational needs, before being made available.

Autism is a lifelong disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them. There is no cure for Autism, however, with the right support at the right time, it can make an enormous difference to people’s lives.

There are around 700,000 people on the autism spectrum in the UK – that’s more than 1 in 1001. If you include their families, autism is a part of daily life for 2.8 million people,  according to the National Autistic Society.

Daniel Callicott, Manager of Selly Manor Museum, said: “It’s been a pleasure to work with pupils from Selly Oak Trust School who keenly carried out an audit of the visual environment and signage around the museum.

“They have also helped to create accessible information leaflets for each room and a film to prepare people for visiting us.

“We hope that these resources, once launched, will make the museum even more accessible and enjoyable to all.”

Dan Waldron, from Communicate2U, said: “We have really enjoyed working with Selly Manor Museum. They have a clear passion for making their museum accessible for us and have welcomed our young people throughout.”

Steeped in history, Selly Manor Museum dates back to 1474 and is one of Birmingham’s most historic visitor attractions – welcoming thousands of people, including school children, every year.

Made up of two distinct buildings, it brings Tudor history to life with interactive exhibits, tours, talks and special events.

The Museum, which is managed by housing association and charity Bournville Village Trust, was opened by George Cadbury in 1916 after he rescued it from destruction – and many of its beautiful collection was donated by the chocolate-maker’s son Laurence.

To find out more about the museum, please visit Here


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