Inclusion and the SS Great Britain Trust  

The Trust strives to be inclusive and welcoming for everyone. This is key within the organisation’s values; staff and volunteer training and recruitment; and in every area of our work, including visitor experience, research, and storytelling.

Just as the charitable Trust’s STEM education programmes specifically tackle inequalities in access to engineering careers, the visitor experience we offer for many thousands of people each year seeks to inspire and delight everyone and to ensure everyone feels welcome.

We recognise that museums have not always been welcoming to everyone from all walks of life. And that this must change. Museums have an incredibly important role as we learn lessons from the past: listening, learning and sharing ideas with our diverse population today.  

The SS Great Britain Trust is on a journey to improve. Much progress has been made and – as winner of the 2019 European Museum of the Year Award for ‘most welcoming museum in Europe’ – we will not rest on our laurels. 

We know that we have work to do. 

Here, we are sharing our commitment to do better:

 

  • Over the next 10 years (by 2030), the Trust is committed to further understanding and removing barriers to welcome more communities, and more visitors from underrepresented audiences. We recognise that this work goes beyond achieving numerical targets, however we do seek to see change in our visitor profile so that it reflects the West of England population demographics; in particular that black, Asian and minority ethnicities reach 10% of our visitor audience (from 5%). And that visitors from disadvantaged and deprived areas and communities reach 30% of our audience. Our community engagement work reflects far wider audience engagement, understanding household income, lived experiences and other barriers.  
  • All current and future work including research, museum interpretation and expansion (including the Albion Dockyard Project and developing and sharing global migration stories) will have a focus on inclusive storytelling and contemporary relevance. This will be achieved through the Trust’s commitment to introduce different voices and perspectives, helping to explore the collections in new ways, and working with partners. Creative responses such as continuing ‘poet in residence’ programmes and other collaborations will actively bring in new voices and perspectives to complement traditional museum interpretation.  
  • The Trust’s community research ambassadors programme will be expanded. A community advisory panel will play a key role in reviewing and steering new visitor experiences.  
  • Recruitment of staff and volunteers will continue to apply anonymised review of applications, wider advertising of posts, and taking inspiration from the ‘Rooney Rule’ to shortlist underrepresented groups, with the target of workforce reflecting the West of England population profile by 2030. As a Disability Confident Employer and supporter of the West of England Good Employment Charter, the Trust is committed to continually improve and follow best practice.   
  • As part of the Trust’s expansion plans, we pledge to add a Changing Places Toilet. We recognise that, while we already provide fully accessible entry to all levels of the site (and all decks of the historic ship) and accessible toilets, this facility is our next priority.  
  • We will expand upon our successful series of ‘Calm Opening’ sessions by making these more regular and developing more and more-wide-ranging opportunities for neurodiverse visitors to feel comfortable and welcome.  
  • We recognise that providing a safe and welcoming environment goes beyond our own actions. We continue to train and empower staff to listen, understand and where appropriate ‘call out’ or ‘call in’ inappropriate behaviour and microaggressions. And most importantly to be approachable and supportive in every situation. This includes digital engagement as well as on-site visitor experiences.  
  • The Trust will expand our offer for SEND schools and expand the ‘Golden Ticket’ programme that supports pupil and family visits from schools in areas of low household income.  
  • The Trust is committed to using gender neutral language and behaviours, avoiding assumptions, and to provide a welcoming environment. For example, this includes signposting gender-neutral toilets pre-visit and on-site. 

Access For All

Brunel’s SS Great Britain is committed to giving the best experience possible to its visitors.
Access For All