Want to work differently? A grant from the AIM Hallmarks Awards can help you

Now open for applications, the latest round of the  AIM Hallmarks Awards will make grants totalling around £70,000 in England and just over £20,000 in Wales.

Funded by Arts Council England and supported by Welsh Government, the AIM Hallmarks Awards offer grants of between £5,000 and £15,000 to help AIM member museums and heritage sites to begin to use the principles in the AIM Hallmarks to improve the way they work.

So, what type of project has been previously funded and how can you ensure you are successful? We talked to Catherine Allan, Chair of Trustees and Co Director from Rhayader Museum & Gallery in Wales who were successful in Round 2 to see how the Awards have benefited them – and what tips they could share to help your application.

Rhayader Museum & Gallery

AIM: Hi Catherine, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Can you explain why you decided to apply for the AIM Hallmarks Awards please?

CA: At Rhayader Museum and Gallery, we had already identified a project we wanted to work on and I felt that it would fit really well within the grant guidelines and would give us the opportunity to do the work. We had already trialled parts of the project – which was about recording local town and county shows – two years ago with volunteers so knew that what we wanted to do would be possible!

AIM: How did it enable you to work in new ways as an organisation?

CA: There were three aspects to this: using volunteers in new ways, using new technology and – especially – developing new kinds of community involvement. Encouraging people to record their community in various ways allows them to use new technology, take ownership of the process, to feel that their way of life is of value. It gives those who are not so skilled more confidence and improved social networks. It has allowed us to re-engage with sections of our community in ways we haven’t been able to do in a while.

AIM: How does the project AIM has funded fit in with your strategic priorities?

CA: Rhayader Museum and Gallery, has a mission statement which includes promoting participation in arts and heritage activity for social and cultural benefit, encouraging skill sharing and learning and using creative projects to celebrate and represent the area’s distinctive voices. We work in partnership with all ages and abilities to foster a sense of place, worth and confidence. As well as the project fitting in with the mission statement aims, it also fitted in with our aim as a museum, of growing our audience.

AIM: What did you apply to the AIM Hallmarks Awards to fund?

CA: We are a rural area and have four small agricultural shows around small town of Rhayader (population around 2,000.) Rhayader also has a large summer Carnival. Although some of the same people go to and take part in the Carnival, the events are very different in feel and content.

Carnival is a town celebration with a procession, a crowning of the Carnival Queen, visits from other towns with their floats and princesses and lots of people dressing up. Many different organisations take part and visitors come from far and wide. There is food and drink and live music all day coming from the local pubs and the streets are busy from late morning to evening.

The shows are much quieter and are the way the farming community and their families celebrate. Outsiders do come to them but they tend to be very local to the show fields or family members who have left the area. They feature events such as stock judging, handicraft and produce tent, duck and horse racing, pet shows etc. The bar is often a horse box.

It struck me that they also had a much more fragile feel. The shows are only just recovering from the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001. Foot and mouth is an ever-present danger, and with proposed changes in EU membership and farm subsidies, I felt we should be doing what we could to record a way of celebrating that might change substantially or even be lost. Recording both projects would also involve doing oral histories and collecting historic documents and photographs where possible.

There will also be film and written records for people to look at in the museum. Our geographic footprint will be improved as more visitors are able to access aspects of these events they may not have before. The project will allow people who would not normally be inclined to go into a museum to do so, or to access our work in different ways. Overall, the project will reflect back the community to itself and allow it to value how unique it is.

AIM: What was the AIM Hallmarks Awards application process like for you?

CA: My colleague, Krysia Bass, and myself both found the process of applying for a grant was much more straight forward than many. I am not a trained fundraiser and found it quite manageable.

AIM: That’s good to hear Catherine – so what advice or tips would you give to other organisations applying for an AIM Hallmarks Award in Round 3?

CA: I would say that the most important thing is to find a project you feel passionate about. If you don’t really care…why should anyone else? The second thing is obvious – make sure that what you want to do fits with AIM’s criteria. And lastly, have all the fairly tedious but necessary information and statistics about your organisation to hand.

AIM: We are looking forward to seeing how this unique project develops Catherine – so what do you think the legacy of the AIM Hallmarks Award will be for the museum and your community?

CA: I would say that the main legacies for our community will be that participants will be positively affected by the process of recording the shows. People will be able to look at what we produce and remember their experiences. Their children will be able to look back in time and see and hear significant people in their locality.

I hope we will benefit from a raised profile and good will. We will also be able to capture a way of life for future generations to learn from and enjoy finding out about. As we are a largely volunteer run organisation. I anticipate that people will see the value in our work and come forward to help us in the way they did when we were set up as a community arts organisation and community museum.

AIM: Thanks for your time Catherine. Finally, what would you say to encourage other AIM members to apply for an AIM Hallmarks Award?

CA: I would encourage people to go for the award. You will find the process easier than most. It will help you realise a project you feel passionate about or will help you to develop one. That in turn will allow you to revisit and re-evaluate who you are and what you do.

Application information for the AIM Hallmarks Awards

Offering grants of between £5,000 and £15,000, the AIM Hallmarks Awards help AIM member museums and heritage sites to begin to use the principles in the AIM Hallmarks to improve the way they work.

The third round of the AIM Hallmarks Awards is now open for AIM members in England and Wales with applications closing on 15 May 2017 – but how could you use an award in your museum?

The AIM Hallmarks Awards can be used by successful applicants in two distinct ways:

*To fund an organisational review: This can involve either review and planning, or taking forward new ways of working. Some museums might want to use the AIM Hallmarks as a framework to review their organisational health and can apply for this funding for support in planning future development

*To contribute to a project that supports applicant organisations to behave or develop differently: Museums which have already identified development needs reflecting the principles of the AIM Hallmarks, can apply for funding to put their ideas into practice and progress programmes of work which will enable them to become more resilient and to prosper in the future. Projects can be linked to any of the Hallmarks but must seek to support change at a strategic level and/or to have an impact on organisational culture and behaviour.

The AIM Hallmarks Awards have already helped AIM members in England and Wales to review their organisational health or to develop new ways of working and we strongly encourage potential applicants to discuss their ideas with AIM’s Assistant Director, Helen Wilkinson, before applying.

You can contact Helen by email: helenw@aim-museums.co.uk or by phone on: 0771 966 7102

All information about the AIM Hallmarks Awards including guidance notes and application form can be found on the AIM Hallmarks Awards page.

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Participants In Round 2 Of The AIM Leaders And Enablers Programme Announced

We are delighted to announce the participants in Round 2 of the AIM Hallmarks Leaders and Enablers Programme. Both programmes aim to equip participants to help museums prosper using the AIM Hallmarks and the programmes combine insight from museum practitioners with new perspectives from the broader charities sector. This combination offers fresh ways to think about the challenges museums face. Participants on the Leaders programme are either museum directors or senior managers, while the Enablers are museum development staff and consultants.

Both groups will take part in a series of Residential learning events over the coming months, with the opportunity to support each other through Action Learning sets. Hilary Barnard and Ruth Lesirge, our programme facilitators, both bring a wealth of senior management and governance experience and are constantly on the lookout for interesting examples and case studies which will get debate and discussion flowing.

The programmes have been supported by Arts Council England with additional funding support from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and AIM. AIM would like to congratulate all successful candidates taking part in both programmes.

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Participants from across the UK are taking part in the 2017 AIM Leaders and Enablers Programme (Photo credit: Beamish Museum)

The participants are:

AIM LEADERS

Anthony Hayes – Volunteer and Operations Manager, the Pen Museum

Chris Price – General Manager and Director, North York Moors Railway

Celyn Gurden-Williams – Head of People Development, Beamish Living Museum of the North

Ernestos Karydis – Manager, Arundel Museum

Margaret Harrison – Collections Manager, Canal and River Trust

Miranda Rowlands – Shared Enterprise Project Officer, Norfolk Museums Service

Rebecca Nash – Director, Royal Engineers Museum, Library and Archive

Sarah Bardwell – General Director, Britten-Pears Foundation

Tonia Collett – Museum Manager, the Tudor House Museum

Vicky Hope-Walker – Project Manager, National Paralympic Heritage Trust

Victoria Rogers – Museum Manager, Cardiff Story Museum

Wesley Salton – Head of Development, London Transport Museum

AIM ENABLERS

 Working in Museum Development:

 Bryony Robbins – Museum Development Officer, Cornwall Museums Partnership

Claire Walsh – Hertfordshire Museum Development Officer

Liz Denton – Museum Development Yorkshire

Lynn Podmore – Museum Development, Conwy

Lynsey Jones – Museum Development North West

Rachel Bellamy – Community Heritage and Museums Development Officer for Somerset

 And working independently:

 Claire Turner – independent consultant

Dana Andrew – independent consultant

Fiona Marshall – independent consultant

Jenny Williams – from Take the Space creative agency

Mairead O’Rourke – independent consultant

Kate Elliott – DBA consulting

Rachel Souhami – independent consultant

 

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Opportunity to take part on AIM Leaders

Unfortunately, one of our participants on the Leaders programme has had to withdraw because of unforeseen personal circumstances, so we have the possibility of a last-minute place for a leader from an Accredited museum, in either England, Scotland or Wales. If you are interested, please contact Helen Wilkinson, helenw@aim-museums.co.uk as soon as possible for further information.

 

AIM Hallmarks Awards: Final Round Now Open For Applications

The third and final round of the AIM Hallmarks Awards is now open for AIM members in England and Wales with applications closing on 15 May 2017. Offering grants of between £5,000 and £15,000, the AIM Hallmarks Awards help AIM member museums and heritage sites to begin to use the principles in the AIM Hallmarks to improve the way they work.

This can involve either review and planning, or taking forward new ways of working. For example, in Round 1 of the AIM Hallmarks Awards, The Lightbox Museum and Art Gallery in Woking used their grant to work more effectively with millennials, which you can read about HERE. Organisational review projects funded include one for Amgeudffa Pontypool Museum.

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The Lightbox Museum and Art Gallery in Woking used their grant to work more effectively with millennials (Photo credit: The Lightbox)

Work funded by an AIM Hallmarks Award must be demonstrably central to an applicant museum’s organisational development and closely linked to the museum’s strategic plan. Where possible, we are keen for projects to innovate, trialling approaches or ways of working which are either wholly new to the museum sector, or new to museums of a particular kind or size. In Round 2, for example, the Royal West of England Academy received funding to trial offering executive training away days to corporate clients as a means of income generation.

Helen Wilkinson, AIM Assistant Director, said: “We’re really open to a wide range of proposals – either for doing some serious thinking about the future of your museum, or testing out an idea you already have. We’re looking for fresh thinking and energy above all else – could you use a Hallmark Award to lay the foundations for a new way of working?”

Who Has Already Benefitted From An AIM Hallmarks Award?

In the second round of awards, five were made to museums and heritage sites in England, and three to museums in Wales.

Successful applicants in England were:

Radstock Museum in Somerset, awarded £12,000 for a project to remodel the main permanent displays in the gallery to reflect its name change to Somerset Coalfield Life at Radstock Museum. In doing so, the museum hopes to attract a wider and more diverse audience and enhance their learning offer to engage schools.

Seven Stories and the Mary Rose Trust both awarded funding for in house programmes of leadership development for staff (£8720 for Mary Rose Trust and £11,660 for Seven Stories).

Priest’s House Museum, Dorset, awarded £10,000 for an organisational review.

Brantwood Trust, awarded £7,842.00 for a project to share Ruskin’s ideas with a wider audience through collections digitisation and videos for its website.

Royal West of England Academy, awarded £9,060.00 for a project to develop packages of executive development training, using the museum’s collections, as a means of income generation.

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Priest’s House Museum, Dorset, awarded £10,000 for an organisational review

And in Wales:

Cardiff Story Museum awarded £8000 for a marketing review, to enable it to improve its financial resilience.

Rhayader Museum and Gallery, awarded £10,590 for a project to document local town and country shows, using volunteers in innovative ways.

Pontypool Museum, awarded £5000 towards the costs of an organisational review.

How To Apply

AIM Hallmarks Awards in England

AIM Hallmarks Awards in Wales

The third round of the AIM Hallmarks Awards is now open for AIM members in England and Wales with applications closing on 15 May 2017.

If you are considering making an application to the final round of the Hallmarks Awards, guidance notes to support your application are available here AIM Hallmarks Awards

Or you can email Helen Wilkinson on helenw@aim-museums.co.uk.

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Round 2 Of The AIM Hallmarks Leaders and Enablers Programme Is Now Open

The second round of the AIM Hallmarks Leaders and Enablers Programme is now open for applications. AIM’s development programmes support people who work in or with museums, with the aim of helping heritage organisations prosper.

The AIM Hallmarks Museum Leaders Programme provides practical tools, useful insights and a supportive peer network to equip museum directors to realise the full potential of their organisations.  Guest speakers from across the wider third sector will enable you to learn from successful charities, particularly focusing on organisational resilience and leadership. The programme will give you:

*Increased confidence, knowledge and skills

*The tools to increase the resilience and long term prosperity of your museum, strengthening its organisational culture and embedding the AIM Hallmarks

*A mutually supportive peer network

*A positive approach to problem solving

*Opportunities for reflection and review

“The AIM Museum Leaders course provides an invaluable opportunity to better understand and develop your own leadership skills, and offers a constructive and supportive environment to constructively review your Museum and gain new insight into how to implement change,” said Eleanor Pulfer-Sharma, Director, Bentley Priory Museum and a participant in Leaders Round 1.

“The programme is a worthwhile investment of your time and energy, to promote your development as a leader in the museum sector and to equip you and your organisation to be resilient in the face of the many challenges that lie ahead, particularly given the political and financial uncertainty of the next few years,” said Jason Semmens, Director, Army Medical Services Museum and a participant in Leaders Round 1.

There are 12 places for museum leaders in England, and 2 places for museum leaders from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Visit the AIM website for application information: The AIM Hallmarks Museum Leaders Programme

Applications close: 5pm on Monday 9 January 2017

Download: aim-hallmarks-leaders-enablers-programme-brochure-2017

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The AIM Hallmarks Enablers Programme is for people who support museums through their work, for example through Museum Development or as independent consultants. It aims to equip participants to support organisations more effectively. Participants will become part of a skilled group of enablers who can support museums to use the AIM Hallmarks, helping them prosper.

The programme gives you the chance to develop consultancy and coaching techniques and use them effectively to help organisations change. It will develop your understanding of how organisations work and of the challenges of leadership, with insight from senior managers and trustees.

Through the programme, you will have chance to build a dynamic portfolio of tools to use in your work with museums and become part of a peer network and share ideas and insights.

The programme will give you:

*High quality facilitation techniques to use with museums

*The opportunity to develop independent thinking and new approaches to complex issues

*A mutually supportive peer network

*A positive approach to problem solving

*Opportunities for reflection and review

“Engaging with the Enablers programme has allowed me to evaluate and strengthen my relationships with museums. It is helping me to develop more effective mentoring, advocacy and facilitation skills which are transferable across all areas of Museum Development delivery,” said Sarah Spurrier, Museum Development East Midlands and an Enablers Participant in Round 1.

“Taking part in the Enablers programme has helped me develop my skillset and learn from and share ideas with the excellent Hilary and Ruth as well as an inspirational group of consultants and Museum Development Officers. Knowledge I have developed on the programme has enabled me to better support museum staff and trustees to embed change at their organisations and make their organisations more resilient,” said Laura Crossley, independent consultant and an Enablers Participant in Round 1.

There are 12 supported places for people working in England. If you work in a museum development role in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, please contact us to discuss the possibility of a self-funded place. Consultants and freelancers are encouraged to apply.

Visit the AIM website for application information: The AIM Hallmarks Enablers Programme

Applications close: 5pm on Monday 9 January 2017

Download: aim-hallmarks-leaders-enablers-programme-brochure-2017

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AIM Job Vacancy: AIM Hallmarks Programme Assistant

 AIM Job Vacancy: AIM Hallmarks Programme Assistant

2 days a week, fixed term for one year initially, £20,000 pa pro rata

AIM is looking for a confident, well-organised assistant to support AIM staff in the delivery of the AIM Hallmarks programme. This is a great opportunity for someone looking for a flexible, part-time, home-based role to work with AIM’s energetic staff team and high-profile Council, to help deliver this ambitious programme to support museums and enable them to prosper.

AIM works hard to support its 1000+ members – some of the UK’s most innovative, resourceful and passionately-run museums and heritage organisations. This is an exciting time for AIM: our small, friendly staff team is expanding and we have a high-profile, challenging project to deliver.

Your strengths will be in:

*Excellent organisational skills, and an ability to work on different projects at the same time while maintaining attention to detail

*A positive, can-do attitude and a friendly and approachable manner

*Reliability and the capacity to work on your own and on your own initiative, as well as supporting colleagues

The Programme Assistant will have particular responsibility for project managing the production of online publications and resources and publicising the programmes, as well as providing general support and administrative assistance to the Assistant Director who leads on delivery of the programme. The Programme Assistant will also be expected to support other AIM programmes and activities as required. For more information about AIM visit www.aim-museums.co.uk

This is a new position with a fixed-term contract for one year in the first instance. AIM staff all work from home. To enable frequent meetings with the Assistant Director (who is based in Newark in Nottinghamshire), the Coordinator will need to be within an hour’s travelling time of London, Newark or York (or be prepared to travel in their own time). Hours can be worked flexibly, subject to our agreement, but we would prefer to appoint someone who would like to spread their working time across the week, ideally over four or five days.

Deadline for applications: 10am on Monday 14 March 2016.

Interviews will be in Birmingham on Monday 21 March 2016.

Downloads

 Job Description and Person Specification

 Information about AIM and the Hallmarks Programme

 How to Apply

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Investing in museums’ futures: AIM Hallmarks Fund

The AIM Hallmarks Investment Fund is now open for applications. The closing date for the first round is 5 February 2016. The fund is open to AIM member, Accredited (or working towards Accreditation) museums in England and will make investments of between £5000 and £15000 to help museums develop in line with the AIM Hallmarks.

The investment fund is part of AIM’s Hallmarks and Investing in Independence programme which is funded by Arts Council England. The programme also includes in-depth training programmes, which are also currently open for applications, online resources which will be developed over the next two years and a programme to support museum boards and trustees to be launched in 2016. Together these elements can help museums focus on the key issues which will help them prosper and thrive – as outlined in the Hallmarks.

The Investment Fund will support museums to develop in any element of the Hallmarks: purpose; leadership and culture; governance; innovation and risk; awareness and networks, visitor focus, collections and finance.

Work funded by an AIM Hallmarks Award must be demonstrably central to an applicant museum’s organisational development, and closely linked to the museum’s strategic plan. Museums must be able to show that the work undertaken using the grant could not have taken place without external support.

We are keen to support projects which have the potential to offer helpful lessons to other museums and that are genuinely new for the applicant organisation. This might involve trialling approaches or ways of working which are either wholly new to the museum sector, or new to museums of a particular kind or size.

More information about the Investment fund can be found on the AIM Website, along with the application form and guidance notes. Museums are invited to talk to Helen Wilkinson before making an application – please contact her at Helenw@aim-museums.co.uk

Free Events: Discover and Discuss the AIM Hallmarks

Launched during the AIM National Conference, the AIM Hallmarks of Prospering Museums help to identify the key characteristics of best practice and describe the set of behaviours that enable heritage organisations to prosper and thrive. With support from Arts Council England, AIM will soon be opening the learning and investment programmes to help museums put the Hallmarks into practice.

AIM members are invited to find out more about these new opportunities at two free events in London and Manchester, which will discuss the ideas underpinning the AIM Hallmarks. Both events will feature speakers who are leading practitioners and thinkers, plus there will be networking opportunities for all attendees.

Speakers at the events will explore the importance of a strong sense of purpose in leading organisations, and will consider how organisational culture and strategy combine to create the conditions for a prospering museum.

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Darren Henley OBE, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, will be speaking in London on December 8

Dates, Venues and Booking Information

London – Tuesday 8th December 2015 – 3.30 – 6.30pm

Duke of Wellington Hall, RUSI, 61 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2ET

Speakers include:

Darren Henley OBE, Chief Executive of Arts Council England

Robert Jones, Head of New Thinking, Wolff Olins

Victoria Wallace, Director General of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Schedule

3.30pm Arrival and coffee

4.00pm Speakers

5.30pm Drinks and networking

London Booking Form:

 Discover and Discuss the AIM Hallmarks – London Event

 

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Join AIM at the People’s History Museum in Manchester on January 13

Manchester – Wednesday 13th January 2016 – 2pm – 5pm

People’s History Museum, Left Bank, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3ER

Speakers include:

Richard Evans, Director, Beamish, the Living Museum of the North

Hilary Barnard and Ruth Lesirge, trainers on the Hallmarks learning programmes

Schedule

2.00pm – Arrival and coffee

2.30 pm – Speakers

4.00pm – Drinks and networking

Manchester Booking Form:

Discover and Discuss the AIM Hallmarks – Manchester Event

For further information about these events or to sign up for information about the AIM Hallmarks of Prospering Museums, please email:  helenw@aim-museums.co.uk

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