Invited guests, including award winners, judges and professionals from the heritage and volunteering sector, were treated to guided tours at the Old Royal Naval College on Wednesday 9 September before the presentation of this year’s London Volunteers in Museums Awards.
Nearly two hundred guests including volunteers and their managers, along with supporters from the museum and cultural sector attended and this year saw nominations involving nearly 500 volunteers. With seven categories to judge, and nominations from museums in London ranging from large nationals to small independent museums, choosing the winners was a difficult decision for the judges.
New judge Dea Birkett thanked the LVMA for “opening her eyes to the wonderful, inclusive, empowering work” undertaken in the museums sector which “wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for volunteers.” Dea said that “at Kids in Museums, much of our work is enabled and delivered by our large band of dedicated, expert, enthusiastic volunteers. Yet even I was surprised when reading all the nominations for these pioneering awards.” She added that the volunteers “don’t only donate hours; they give the sector expertise, passion and new ideas. At their very best, volunteers connect museums to people and communities they wouldn’t otherwise reach, bringing in fresh perspectives and knowledge”.
The Awards are organised by the London Heritage Volunteer Manager Network (LHVMN). Many member organisations of LHVMN give their staff’s time as members of the organising committee, provide other resources such as publication of the awards booklet and contribute donations to the awards.
This year the awards have benefitted from funding from the London Museum Development programme – funded through Arts Council England to support museums in London. Ben Travers, Regional Museum Development Manager, said: “Over the past few years we have supported London’s volunteers and Volunteer Managers through our training programmes and by offering advice and support to the network and awards steering group. We are delighted to provide funding towards the LVMA awards ceremony, such an important event recognising the contribution that volunteers make to museums across London.”
Full list of categories and winners:
Best Team: Warship Conservation Volunteers – HMS Belfast, Imperial War Museum
Youth Award: Taliha Gazi, Young Curators Group – William Morris Gallery
Bringing Innovation: Sarah Griffin, Conservation and Learning volunteer, Museum of the Order of St John
Going the Extra Mile: John Stredwick, Museum assistant, tour guide, walk leader – London Canal Museum
Developing in a role: Rosa Gomez, Research volunteer – Historic Royal Palaces (Tower of London)
Long Service: Alan Marvin, Volunteer gallery assistant / Volunteer curator – Firepower, The Royal Artillery Museum
Supporting Volunteers: Sarah Mahood, Collections Access Officer – Horniman Museum & Gardens
This year’s judges:
Dea Birkett, Director of Kids in Museums
Clive Pankhurst, Trust Lead for Volunteer Services at UCLH
Kate Bowgett, Director of Advocacy at Groundswell UK and Vice Chair of Volunteer Centre Southwark
Michelle Martin, Chief Executive of Volunteer Centre Greenwich
Richard Gough, Volunteer Coordinator at Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust and Board member of the Heritage Volunteer Group
Sue Barnard, Relationship Manager, Museums (London), Arts Council England
General Press and PR enquiries – Karen Webb-Green, Museum Development Officer, London Museum Development
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