The power of loving your local Museum

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, the River & Rowing Museum is extending an invitation to its ambassadors, visitors and the community it loves to become a Friend of the Museum. Being a Friend of the Museum is a two-way relationship. It’s really engaging with the Museum you love and with your community. Re-igniting your creativity and passion. Nurturing yourself and focussing on your wellbeing.

The Museum is an award-winning charitable arts and heritage organisation with a social purpose to improve the wellbeing and quality of life of its community. Each year the Museum continues to expand its Adult Events Programme with tours, talks and workshops, inviting you to meet like-minded people and learn new skills. Its stunning riverside location and dramatically impressive building create a stimulating environment, providing the perfect surroundings in which to escape from the outside world, relax and reboot.

According to research recently published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal)* visiting a museum or concert just once or twice a year is associated with lowering the risk of dying early by 14%, rising to 31% for those engaging with the arts every month.

Over the past few years award-winning artist, Mark Ware**, with support from the Arts Council, has been investigating how art that reflects nature can be good for us. Research shows that “the environment in which we spend time is important in terms of health and wellbeing, and that nature has particularly beneficial properties”.

The Museum’s vision to “bring the river to life, create a powerful sense of place, enhance the wellbeing of our communities and support a more sustainable natural environment” certainly supports this research.

Its exhibitions, such as ‘Art of the Wild: Gertrude Hermes and the Natural World’, celebrate the nature which surrounds the Museum, allowing visitors to engage with Hermes’ prints and share her fascination and restless curiosity about the natural world, including the River Thames.

Whether you’re an art lover, history buff, have a deep connection with Henley or the majestic Thames, by becoming a Friend, you will enjoy some fantastic benefits, such as free admission and a range of discounts.

Sarah Posey, Director at the Museum, says “The Museum’s lucky to have a group of supporters who make an invaluable contribution to our work through their Friends’ subscription, championing our work and volunteering their time. How inspiring that new research demonstrates that their engagement with us gives something back by improving their well-being, as well as the scheme’s formal benefits. Do join us as a Friend – as Valentine’s Day approaches, what a wonderful time to start a mutually beneficial relationship with us and ‘Love your Museum’!”

The River & Rowing Museum has the power to make you feel good. Become a Friend today to secure your place at the River & Rowing Museum’s exclusive event 4-6pm on 10 March.


** Source: