25 FREE badges to collect in Kent

Wheels of Time is a badge collecting scheme encouraging the exploration of 25 Kent heritage sites for 5-11 year olds.

25 Museums and heritage sites across Kent are giving away badges in a scheme launched on Wednesday (22nd March). The “Wheels of Time”, initiative has been developed to encourage children to visit museums and heritage sites across Kent. Children aged 5-11 visiting any of the venues involved, from 1st April, will be given a different badge at each site, showing the site’s logo or related picture. A map featuring the Wheels of Time mascot, ‘Roamin Rex’, guides children to all of the sites. Many of the sites are volunteer run, others have a team of paid staff. All are eager to share their locations with children and their families.

The scheme was launched at Maidstone Museum by George Jessel, who will become High Sheriff of Kent on 2nd April. The launch celebrated the expansion for the scheme from 14 to 25 sites, giving parents and carers greater scope to arrange heritage themed days out for their children. Mr Jessel thanked South East Museums Development Programme (SEMDP) and local company, Bretts for providing the funds for the expansion of the scheme. Guests at the launch included Cllr. Derek Butler, Mayor of Maidstone; Mr. Tom Gates, Chairman of Kent County Council, Amanda Cottrell, President of Visit Kent; Joanna Low of SEMDP, Charles Clarke of Brett Group as well as tourism leaders from Kent districts and representatives of Wheels of Time sites.

Wheels of Time is now recognised as a Kent Children’s University Learning Activity, and many of the sites can give Learning Credits to children registered with Children’s University. In a further development, children who have collected 10 badges will be awarded Roamin’ Rex’s Bronze Award Badge, and when they have 20 badges they will receive a Silver Award Badge.

Roamin Rex’s map, showing all of the participating sites, can be collected from any of the sites, some Tourist Information Centres or downloaded from the Wheels of Time website, wheelsoftime.uk.

Notes for editors

Wheels of Time is a partnership of the participating museums and heritage site developed to encourage children and their families to explore heritage sites in Kent. wheelsoftime.uk

George Jessel is a Man of Kent. He is a partner in fully diversified 1,200-acre family farm on the North Downs just outside Ashford. George is a Kent Ambassador, is a Kent Deputy Lieutenant for the Ashford Area and will be declared High Sheriff of Kent on 2nd April 2017. After being the Chairman of Kent County Agricultural Society for 10 years he is now its Lifetime President. He is Chairman of the Wye Rural Museum Trust (responsible for the Agricultural Museum at Brook) and Vice President of Ashford Museum, both members of Wheels of Time.

The South East Museums Development Programme (SEMDP) is led by a Consortium consisting of Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton and Hove (the lead partner), the Hampshire Cultural Trust, the Oxfordshire County Museums Service, and Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust. It was formed in 2012 to manage the Arts Council England museum development funding in the South East. www.southeastmuseums.org

Brett is a successful, established construction and building materials group – the largest independent in the UK – has its headquarters in Canterbury and has many locations across Kent among its operational sites. Its range of expertise has been developed over 100 years. www.brett.co.uk