Support Reading Museum's work in the community

by Friends of Reading Museum in Reading, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 22nd December 2020 we successfully raised £6,207 with 121 supporters in 35 days

Help Reading Museum create digital opportunities for school children to enjoy the experience of a visit to the museum from their classroom

by Friends of Reading Museum in Reading, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

We are absolutely thrilled to have reached our initial target. Thank you hugely to everyone who has supported us in reaching our goal.

Now that we have raised this amount, we will begin working on creating our next three virtual schools sessions, and we look forward to sharing them with you and classrooms across Reading and Berkshire very soon!

With work on these sessions now underway, we are keen to explore ways of sharing them with as many schools and pupils as we can.

If we are able to raise another £4,000, taking our total to £10,000, then we will be able to reach and provide virtual sessions to fifty local schools.

If we can raise £10,000 beyond our initial target of £6,000, reaching £16,000, then we will have the potential for reaching more than 130 schools. 

With these extra funds, we will particularly focus on reaching and supporting pupils and schools with low cultural participation, especially in areas of Reading and Berkshire affected by socioeconomic inequality.

These funds would be available for teachers to meet and enhance their students’ learning, from gaining access to our popular loan boxes scheme (containing real museum artefacts), to accessing subsidised online school sessions.

A century of learning


For more than a century, Reading Museum has supported children’s learning in Reading and across Berkshire.

In usual times, we welcome over 15,000 school pupils a year through the Museum doors, where they take part in our lively sessions, explore the National Curriculum in exciting new ways, and visit our galleries and historic buildings. One of these, our 12th century Abbey Gateway, was once a schoolroom where Jane Austen and her sister Cassandra studied, a poignant reminder of Reading’s long legacy of education. 1605285717_crowdfunder3.jpg

For many primary school children in our town, this visit forms their first museum experience, creating a real connection with the Museum and Reading’s community. It brings learning outside the classroom, fosters creativity and curiosity, and can spark a lifelong interest in heritage and the arts.

2020: an unprecedented year for all

1605285817_crowdfunder4.jpgIn 2020, everything changed. The coronavirus forced schools, museums, and almost all parts of UK public life to close. Even after Reading Museum’s reopening, the ongoing need for social distancing means that it is not possible for large groups – like school visits – to be accommodated.

However, we know the importance of a museum experience and the immense benefits it can bring. So, we put on our thinking caps, reimagined our learning programme over the course of several months, and adapted our sessions using digital technology, so that we can bring the Museum to our schools instead!

For the first time, we have developed and now offer brand-new online school sessions, featuring a range of professionally made materials, including: 

  • live video lead by our experienced museum learning team
  • pre-recorded film footage of our live sessions and historic re-enactment
  • resources for interactive activities in the classroom
  • creating and sharing digitised museum objects via SketchFab
  • and more!

How you can help


Today, we would like to ask you for any support you can give to help us continue developing these new online resources and making them accessible for as many schools as possible. To do this, we are hoping to raise the sum of £6,000.

Children from all over Berkshire hugely value their time spent at the Museum. Your contributions will be invaluable in helping them to keep connecting with their local heritage, and enjoying the magic of a museum visit in the best way it can currently be experienced.

Fostering an interest in history and the past connects us all with our shared humanity, which has never been more important than now. Your support in helping us share this with children today, and investing in their learning, will benefit both them, the community, and the Museum for years to come.

The museum learning team are working on plans to share more of our collection with schools in the virtual world. We would like to develop a virtual session for children based on our fantastic 19th century replica of the Bayeux Tapestry, so that pupils can have a real experience of the Tapestry and this remarkable period of history without having to leave the classroom. We would then look to develop further virtual sessions about Roman life based on our unique collection of artefacts from the Roman town of Silchester, as well as exploring the role of the Windrush generation in our local community in Reading.

We will use our extensive experience and knowledge of Reading’s schools and community to help teachers across the town and the local area to make the very best of the funds available. 

Thank you for your support

Any support that you are able to give is extremely appreciated by all of us at the Museum, the Friends of Reading Museum and the Museum's community.

All funds donated to this Crowdfunder will be held by the Friends of Reading Museum, an independent charity that exists to create a greater awareness of Reading Museum, and to promote the importance of the Museum’s collections and their presentation to the community.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£20 or more

28 of 100 claimed

£20 Reward - Exclusive Reading Museum Tote Bags

Choose from two unique tote bag designs from our Museum shop - either Empress Matilda or Oscar Wilde!

£10 or more

£10 Reward - a social media thank you

Leave your Twitter handle on your comment, and we'll put out a massive thank you!

£15 or more

£15 Reward - Friends of Reading Museum membership

Annual membership of the Friends of Reading Museum in 2021 so that you can keep in touch with our work - includes a 10% discount in the Reading Museum shop.

£50 or more

3 of 20 claimed

£50 Reward - Adopt an object

Adopt one of our objects for a year – either for yourself, or as an unusual gift. This includes 2021 membership of the Friends of Reading Museum. For more information see We will be in touch to arrange your reward.

£100 or more

4 of 50 claimed

£100 - Sponsor a local school to borrow a loan box

Sponsor a local school to borrow one of our unique loan boxes, full of real museum artefacts and designed to support teaching in the classroom on a wide range of subjects, from archaeology to zoology.

£150 or more

£150 Reward - Friends Life Membership

Life Membership of the Friends of Reading Museum. As part of your membership you will receive invitations to special events and tours, get a 10% discount at the museum shop, and be able to attend social events including the popular monthly coffee morning and Christmas party.

£250 or more

2 of 5 claimed

£250 - A private Behind the Scenes Museum Tour

A private behind the scenes tour for up to six people at the Museum and the Abbey Gateway. Your personal tour will be led by an expert guide from our friendly and knowledgeable team. We'll be in touch with you to fix a date in 2021.

£1,000 or more

0 of 5 claimed

£1000 Reward - Exclusive Victorian schoolroom

Your own private Victorian schoolroom experience for up to six adults and children (over-five) in our unique Victorian classroom inside Reading's historic Abbey Gateway. We will be in touch to fix a date in 2021.

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