26 July 2021

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Museums play a crucial role in our communities. Their objects help us to make connections to others across time, space and continents, and discover the shared stories that unite us. These experiences inspire creativity, wellbeing and learning for life in people of all ages.

Since 2013, support from players has helped people to enjoy three of Scotland’s national museums: the National Museum of Scotland, in Edinburgh; the National Museum of Rural Life, in East Kilbride; and the National Museum of Flight, in East Lothian.

Players' support has helped families discover fascinating stories behind the collections through fun activities, helped tackle loneliness and isolation by creating programmes for people who experience barriers to accessing museums and brought big stories to new audiences through exciting exhibitions. Players have inspired millions of people from around the world by supporting the National Museum of Scotland.

"The museum is special to me because being there gives me a sense of peace and relaxation. Whether it is sitting quietly at the Balcony Cafe having a cup of tea or wandering round the various exhibitions and showcases, it's all lovely." Museum visitor.

Since the start of the pandemic, museums have not been able to offer the same experiences. Support from players during closures helped to keep National Museums Scotland’s buildings and collections safe and enabled new online resources to be developed. Since museums reopened, players’ support has helped National Museums Scotland to operate in a different way, to make sure that people get the most from their visits while keeping everyone as safe as possible.

"I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated the careful balance you have struck between COVID safety, and offering a highly enjoyable, different museum visit." Museum visitor.

As well as increased cleaning, hand sanitiser stations, timed ticketing, and clear routes around the museums, activities that players have supported included new trails to help visitors engage with the collections and displays afresh. At the National Museum of Scotland this included a staff picks trail and a mindfulness trail, which enhanced the experience for new and returning visitors alike.

"I really felt that two new ideas displayed a sense of empathy and caring from the staff who had created them, and made my visit today feel special. Some of the staff picks were new to me, despite 20+ years of visiting regularly, and the mindfulness trail taught me new things about the building as well as being a lovely way to enjoy mindfulness." Museum visitor.

Over £2.3 million has been raised for National Museums Scotland thanks to players. This support enables National Museums Scotland’s museums to be places for discovery, learning, wellbeing, and joy - today and in the future.

"The museum has the power to uplift my spirits and to discover the new and rediscover old favourites. What a place!!!!" Museum visitor.