Detailed findings – support for those working with communities
We were particularly interested in the experience of people working directly with communities. Museums work with diverse groups and staff may find themselves supporting people who are experiencing significant challenges.
We asked respondents to reflect on the support they receive from their organisation and the extent to which additional or targeted support is made available to those working with communities, for example access to therapeutic services or other supervision opportunities.
Policies and practices
We asked respondents whether their organisation had specific policies and practices in place to support the wellbeing of those engaging and working with communities.
We asked respondents to reflect on the skills they felt were important for effective work with communities.
- Overwhelmingly respondents felt skills associated with relationship building and safeguarding were the most important (93% and 85%)
- This was followed by participatory practice with 68%, risk assessment with 65% and facilitation with 57%
- 26% of respondents felt influencing skills were critical
In addition, the following skills were highlighted as important:
- Boundary setting
- Coaching and mentoring
- Co-curation and co-production
- Conflict resolution
- Project and time management
- Reflection, learning and self-awareness
- Trauma informed practice.
Specific personal qualities (traits, characteristics and values that support our work more broadly), were identified as being key – authenticity, compassion and empathy, flexibility, humanity, humility, resilience, and respect.
Other comments included organisations demonstrating a greater commitment to community-based work by allocating meaningful budgets and developing a clear infrastructure to support delivery, including dedicated roles.
Training and development
We asked respondents whether they receive training and development to support their community work.
We asked respondents to reflect on the availability of internal or external support and supervision.
- The informal support most referenced was colleagues within and outside of their organisation, followed very closely by friends and family
- Sector support organisations were highlighted as an important source of information as well as organisations outside of the sector including the NHS and Mind
- Many highlighted support and information from local organisations, as well as support from community partners themselves