A pilot scheme over the summer months which saw the Royal Cornwall Museum collaborating with Truro Foodbank to add a free family pass to every food parcel being given out, has resulted in a 90% take-up rate.

Eighty passes were provided and 72 were redeemed as complimentary admission to the museum over the six-week school holiday period. The initiative is now being extended over the coming months to include non-school holiday periods as well.

Celine Elliott, the museum’s Community Engagement Officer, is the person behind the pilot.

“The Royal Institution of Cornwall was established 200 years ago to establish a centre of culture and learning that could be accessed and enjoyed by all and this scheme helps support that ethos,” she said. “We had children’s activities on six days a week throughout the summer holidays but, whilst children get in free, adults normally have to pay. It’s important that we don’t exclude those who are going through economically challenging times and that’s why we’re delighted so many families have chosen to use their pass.”

Truro Foodbank is a short five-minute walk away from the museum. More than 2500 food parcels were given out last year and a third of recipients were families with children.

“There’s a perception that we cater mainly for the homeless but that couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Foodbank Manager Bob Girvan. “We don’t see the same faces every week and those that do come are from all walks of life – including professionals who have fallen on hard times. It’s true that most of us are just two pay cheques away from poverty so we’re here for everyone who needs us, regardless of their background.

“We’re really pleased that there’s been such a good response to the museum’s free family passes and are delighted we can continue making them available.”

In addition to their partnership with the foodbank, the museum is also working with Truro Library – providing free family passes that can be booked out and returned like a book.