11 Jul 2022

Free Thinktank tickets for families using foodbanks in the city

Earlier this year, Birmingham Museums sent out over 700 free family tickets for Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum, to foodbanks across the city. Each ticket allows a family to visit Thinktank for free this year, helping thousands of Birmingham’s adults and children enjoy a day out and access to their city’s museum collections.

“Food is absolutely essential but so are other activities if we are going to enjoy a rounded life.” (Erdington food bank)

Free Thinktank Tickets on table

In the spring, we reached out to the 10 food banks in the city, to find out roughly how many families each supported across their 20 distribution centres. We wanted to make sure that every family who found themselves in need of using a foodbank could receive a ticket, and are very grateful to all the staff and volunteers at Birmingham’s foodbanks who have helped us do that.

Birmingham Museums Trust has a vision to be more useful for more people. We want to ensure that everyone can engage in our museums and with our collections, and that we can work together with others to improve the lives of people in the city.

Three food bank staff holding complimentary Thinktank tickets standing in front of a sign that says 'Foodbank'

Between 1st April 2021 and 31st March 2022, foodbanks in Birmingham gave out 53,319 food parcels to adults and children in the city1, an increase of 29% since before the pandemic as job losses and rising food and fuel prices have had their impact. Birmingham Museums is very much a part of the city, and so although we can’t solve the bigger issues that people are facing, we hope that being able to have a free visit to our site, and a day out with their family, might be a little extra that can make people’s lives cheerier.

With thanks to the teams at Aston and Nechells Foodbank, Birmingham Central Foodbank, Handsworth Foodbank, Sparkhill Foodbank, Erdington Foodbank, Smethwick Foodbank, Great Barr Foodbank, Quinton and Oldbury Foodbank, B30 Foodbank, and Kingfisher Foodbank who have helped us distribute tickets, and have given us feedback:

"Thank you so much to the Birmingham Museum Trust who have so generously donated hundreds of vouchers for free admission into Birmingham Think Tank to Birmingham Central Foodbank.

"So many families have already been incredibly blessed by these vouchers - especially over half term! We serve an average of 60 families per week with food parcels, and the added bonus of these vouchers have been such a treat! Thank you!" (Birmingham Central Foodbank)

“It’s an amazing offer… most of the families we serve struggle, especially during the school holidays, to keep the children occupied and entertained.” (Smethwick Foodbank)

“Just to let you know that I gave a ticket out to a lady on Monday and the appreciation and joy on her face made my day, you could tell it really meant a lot to her, and that it would mean a lot to her family too, she has a 4 year old.” (Aston and Nechells Foodbank)

“You have just made my day. What a wonderful thing to do. I know that our families would be so grateful.” (Kingsbury Foodbank)

A member of the food bank staff holding complimentary Thinktank tickets standing in front tinned food and sauces

1 Birmingham World article: Why more than 16000 food bank parcels were given to Birmingham children in the last year