Tate Modern last week hosted an open evening in conjunction with Walthamstow-based NVQ assessment centre QKL to promote awareness of its joint programme linking art with the NVQ in Care.
Guests were drawn from from City and Guilds, social services and health departments across London and the south east. Guests took part in a series of workshops designed to illustrate how candidates undertaking NVQs in Care can plan and organise visits to the galleries for the people they work with.
Originally piloted in partnership with the London borough of Southwark in 2002, the programme has expanded to include staff from social services in Ealing, Bexley, Greenwich and Lewisham. Candidates take part in a number of activities based around works in the galleries and develop skills to enable people to interact and respond to the artworks. Candidates can use this experience to collect evidence for their NVQ awards.
Sian Gamble, external verifier for City and Guilds, said this was "one of the most innovative and exciting projects she had come across".
"It's lovely to find something that makes it very meaningful for candidates and benefits people who use the services."
QKL director Kate Lord said: "As a result of the work with Tate many of our candidates have gone back to work inspired and arranged many exciting visits".
Activities on the night saw guests relating the senses of sight and touch to artworks such as Monet's Water Lilies and Mark Dion's Tate Thames Dig, a mahogany cabinet containing objects scoured from the Thames foreshore by a team of volunteers in the summer of 1999. People are encouraged to talk about their own interpretation and relate what they see to what is happening in their own lives,