13 September 2021

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Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have supported V&A Dundee for eight years, helping Scotland’s design museum to connect with communities and families well before its opening in September 2018.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the museum has been working hard to bring design into the lives of people who are socially isolated or vulnerable, sharing both the joy and the empowerment of design.

Over one million people visited V&A Dundee before it was closed due to the pandemic. Since then a range of projects supported by players have brought design directly into homes and care homes:

  • Design Busters, a free phoneline that shared a weekly design challenge for children and their families. This programme quickly adapted a popular programme that had been running in the museum to support families during lockdown. 10,000 free copies of an activity book were later shared with families across Scotland to inspire their creativity during the school holidays.
  • Virtual tours and reminiscence workshops to support the wellbeing of people with dementia and their carers, working with organisations including Alzheimer Scotland. The museum adapted its normal tour programme to remote video tours, allow more people to engage regardless of their physical location or their ability to travel to the museum.
  • Barchester care home partnership, with the museum hosting a series of online talks for residents that were available to 240 care homes and private hospitals across the UK, ranging from Kengo Kuma’s award-winning architecture for the museum to the inspirational fashion designer Mary Quant.

The support of players has also enabled V&A Dundee to reopen in 2021 with the major exhibition Night Fever: Designing Club Culture and run sensory friendly days to provide a safe, relaxing environment for people with sensory needs, including autism spectrum conditions, sensory processing differences, or profound and multiple learning disabilities. These events are provided free of charge.

Visitors to the sensory friendly days can also make use of materials tailored to a range of needs, from ear defenders to new sensory backpacks, co-developed by V&A Dundee and PAMIS, Promoting A More Inclusive Society. Through discussion with users and expert advice from PAMIS, the backpacks were carefully created to enable people with profound and multiple learning disabilities to better connect with and enjoy the exhibition.

The support of players has also enabled young parents in Dundee to gain SQA-approved qualifications in partnership with local charity Front Lounge. The Kindred Clothing course takes learners through the key stages of the garment production process, while teaching practical fashion photography skills and techniques to present themselves, their stories, and their clothes.

Over £2.2 million has been raised for V&A Dundee by players of People's Postcode Lottery.