This month’s Team Member of the Month is Jo Rooks.
Jo joined the Museum in May 2005 as a Museum Assistant, helping visitors around our extensive site and drawing on her passion for history to help visitors learn about the objects in our collection.
In 2009, Jo was awarded the Robert Logan Award by the British Association of Friends of Museums (BAFM) for her work relating to learning and social sustainability. She developed our online exhibition, www.whenwerewehappy.org.ukwhich looks at well-being in the nearby village of Stowupland, followed by a project working with Lavenham Primary School to design their ‘Happy Day’.
Since then, her creative and inventive approach, as well as her friendly way with visitors of all ages has seen her move on to become our Learning and Participation Officer. No two days are ever the same for Jo. On Wednesdays she can often be found leading our Under 5’s in a Welly Walk or Storytime activity. On a Friday she might be working with Carers to develop artworks relating to their own lives and stories.
During school holidays Jo leads a steady stream of activities for families looking to make, stick, paint and create, whilst term time sees her working with teachers to encourage school visits – even dressing up as an Edwardian herself to lead our Christmas workshops.
Most recently Jo has been sharing her love of books and baking through an HLF Young Roots funded project with teenagers centred around the idea of “Dining through the Decades”. So far, young people from local guide groups have explored and recreated food, fashion and make-up from Georgian and Victorian times, much of which has been shared in the office the next day!
If you’re part of a group of young people and you’d like to get involved, please get in touch as Jo would love to hear from you!