PK Porthcurno, Museum of Global Communications in West Cornwall has won two gold awards at the Cornwall Tourism Awards 2022 held at Truro Cathedral on Thursday 17 November.
The museum won ‘Small Visitor Attraction of the Year’ sponsored by Isles of Scilly Travel for the second year running and the ‘Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award’ sponsored by Access Cornwall and Enable Activity.
Julia Twomlow, Creative Director and CEO of PK Porthcurno says,
Collecting one gold from this year’s Cornwall Tourism Awards would have been fabulous but to win two is unbelievable! It is a testament to the extraordinary work of everyone at PK Porthcurno who make this happen – from the back-office staff, the engagement and learning team, our amazing volunteers and the lovely people who greet you on Front of House when you visit. I am immensely proud of them all!
PK Porthcurno is the UK’s only dedicated museum of global communications and tells the amazing story of our connected world in the place where it all started. From the discovery of electricity and invention of Morse code to modern-day optical fibres, satellites and multiplexing, the museum combines the wonder of science with amazing histories and tales of human endeavour from around the globe. Set in beautiful sub-tropical gardens and a short walk from Porthcurno’s famous beach, PK Porthcurno’s spacious and interactive gallery, top secret World War Two bunkers, one-of-a-kind Cable Hut and Planet PK environmental programme provide a unique experience for all.
Recognising the museums’ remote location and that barriers to inclusivity and access come in many shapes and sizes, PK has sought to simplify access to all, whether encountering physical, learning and specific needs, hidden disabilities, socio-economic or geographical restrictions.
In addition to common adjustments such as accessible parking within 10 metres of the door, wheelchair accessibility throughout the gallery spaces and the wartime bunker, wheelchairs provided for use free of charge, large print interactive trails, and induction loops and subtitled videos throughout, PK also strives to meet other, less commonly addressed challenges.
PK Porthcurno has developed a Social Story and Sensory Map for those with neurodiversity challenges which can be downloaded before visiting or collected from the front desk. These inform visitors what to expect through a visual and written narrative, what facilities are in place, and where quiet spaces for sensory respite are available.
The PK Online Collection was recently launched to allow those unable to visit the museum to explore the world-class collection through thousands of unique records and photographs. PK’s nationally award-winning engagement team have also taken their outreach programme to local schools, toddler groups, community groups, events and festivals.
PK Porthcurno have also worked with several minority representation groups to enhance inclusion amongst frequently excluded visitors. Project partners have included Black Voices Cornwall, Black British Museum, Queer Kernow and Learn2 Cornwall. Projects have included both outreach and onsite engagement including free group visits when the museum was closed led by the PK Learning team, allowing visitors unrestricted access at their own pace.
PK endeavours to be inclusive for their team as well as visitors and benefit from neurodiversity within the staff and volunteers who work at the museum. This enriches perspectives and broadens skills to help build a culture where difference is embraced, and non-traditional museum visitors are considered at every stage of decision-making.
The two golds collected at Cornwall Tourism Awards caps an award-winning year for PK Porthcurno having been celebrated nationally for ‘Best Family Engagement Team’ at the Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Awards and winning the Cultural Enterprises Green Award for their Planet PK environmental programme.