Still Time To Enter The Museums + Heritage Awards – Volunteers Of The Year Award

To celebrate the work of volunteers across the heritage sector, AIM has once again partnered with the Museums + Heritage Awards for the Volunteers of the Year Award 2017. Sponsored by BDRC Continental, nominations for the award will close at midnight on 1 February 2017.


A great night at the Museum + Heritage Awards 2016 – could it be you this year? (Photo credit: Simon Callaghan Photography)

Designed to be a real boon for those who work so hard to make a difference, this category is free of charge to enter and is open to all museums, galleries gardens, landscapes and heritage visitor attractions across the UK.

“It was total shock to win,” said Den Baker, a Volunteer at the RNLI Henry Blogg Museum who scooped the Volunteers of the Year Award 2016. “We knew nothing about this Awards system before we were nominated and sitting in the audience on the night and hearing that we had won was just amazing!”

Bobby Ogogo, from Horniman Museum & Gardens who was the winner of the Volunteer of the Year Award 2016 said: “Thank you, thank you so much, it is such a privilege.”

If you would like to nominate your volunteers, please visit the following link for all information:

Still Time To Enter: Museums + Heritage Volunteers Of The Year Award

Nominations for the award will close at midnight on 1 February 2017.

Your Chance To Shine – Enter the Museums + Heritage Awards 2017

The Museums + Heritage Awards 2017 are now open for entry. Now in their 15th year these prestigious awards give all organisations, regardless of size and budget, the chance to be recognised and to be celebrated for the quality of their work.

Back for its second year is the free to enter Volunteer(s) of the Year Award in partnership with AIM and sponsored by BDRC Continental. This award is a fantastic opportunity to give your volunteers the recognition they deserve and has a very simple and free entry process.


Deadline for entries is 1st February 2017 and once the deadline has passed the hundreds of entries will be whittled down to a shortlist by the esteemed panel of judges made up of seven sector leading lights.

With 11 categories, the awards generate very public recognition for the winners and shortlistees and have been instrumental in helping many to secure funding and support from key stakeholders. Award winners have also enjoyed recognition both locally and further afield as the awards increasingly gain an international profile.

The categories for the 2017 Awards include:

Temporary or Touring Exhibition

Educational Initiative sponsored by schoolzone

Project on a Limited Budget

Innovation sponsored by The Hub

Marketing Campaign sponsored by Volunteer Makers

Trading & Enterprise supported by ACE

Permanent Exhibition sponsored by Martello Media

International Award

Restoration or Conservation

Fundraisers of the Year


The winners are announced at a glittering ceremony, where more than 300 industry professionals gather at the historic staterooms of 8 Northumberland Avenue in the heart of London to find out who has triumphed. As Anna Preedy, Awards Director, says “These awards really count as they are a direct endorsement by senior industry colleagues whose opinions matter”.

Hall of Fame, Entry Information and Entry Form can all be found on

Deadline for entries – Monday 1 February 2017

Winner’s ceremony – Wednesday 17 May 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London



Applications Open: The Marsh Volunteers for Museum Learning Award 2016

The British Museum and The Marsh Christian Trust  have announced that applications are now open for this year’s Volunteers for Museum Learning Award.

The award celebrates the contribution of volunteers in museums, galleries and heritage sites all over the United Kingdom, recognising their achievements and dedication as well as the innovative ways they are engaging with the visiting public.

There will be twelve regional winners, each of whom will receive a £500 cash prize. Additionally, an overall national winner will receive a further £2,000. The awards will be presented at the British Museum in September. Last year’s national winners were The Museum Volunteers Team at The Museum of Nottingham Life, Brewhouse Yard.

Wales - National Library of Wales

There is a simple application form to complete with some supplementary information. The closing date for applications is Tuesday, 12 July 2016.

If volunteers are too modest to apply themselves, museums are very welcome to apply on their behalf.

To apply, please visit the British Museum website at:

The Marsh Volunteers Awards 2016

If you would like to find out more about the award or have any questions, please contact the Volunteers’ Office at The British Museum at:


National week of celebration to thank the UK’s volunteers

Organisations across the country are holding events to thank volunteers for their dedication and contribution. Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the millions of volunteers who give up their time in the service of others. Events are taking place across the UK from 1-12 June to mark Volunteers’ Week, which this year is running for an extra five days to coincide with the Patron’s Lunch on 12 June.

Karl Wilding, director of public policy and Volunteering at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, which coordinates Volunteers’ Week in England, said:

‘Volunteers’ Week is always a fantastic opportunity for a big celebration of the great work of volunteers across the UK. This year’s longer event, culminating with the Patron’s Lunch on the Mall, will allow even more people to take part in this special thank you to those who give up their time in the service of others.

‘Millions of volunteers make a huge difference to our society, and our lives would be worse without them. It is great to see that doing good to help other people is alive and well in this country. Whether they are running sports clubs, providing services for those in need or spending time with people at risk of loneliness, the UK’s volunteers are an inspiration for us all and it’s important we recognise them.’


Over 14 million people volunteer at least once a month in the UK. Volunteers are involved in diverse range of roles in sports clubs, communities, schools and hospitals across the country, and they are vital to the work of countless charities and organisations.

Last year there were over 750 events organised for Volunteers’ Week, ranging from volunteer recruitment drives, to street parties, barbecues and award ceremonies. In addition to these celebrations, individual volunteers are being encouraged to take to social media to share their volunteering experiences and motivations using the hashtag #ivolunteer.

The end of Volunteers’ Week will coincide with The Patron’s Lunch on Sunday 12 June, a celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s lifetime of service to more than 600 charities and organisations to which The Queen acts as a Patron, on the occasion of her 90th birthday.

Click here to view the map of events taking place across the country

You can follow Volunteers week on Twitter using these hashtags: #volunteersweek #ivolunteer



February Trustee Vacancies at AIM Member Organisations

Can you spare some time to become a Trustee at an AIM member organisation? If so, the following AIM members would love to hear from you.


Weald and Downland Open Air Museum – West Sussex

Number of vacancies: At least 3

Number of meetings per annum/time commitment: 3

Daytime or evening meetings: 1 daytime, 2 evenings

The award-winning Weald & Downland Open Air Museum is a museum of historic buildings covering 50 acres on the South Downs and at the heart of England’s newest National Park. Work is underway on the construction of a new £5.5m visitor centre and associated facilities which will transform the attractiveness and sustainability of this already popular and nationally important museum. We are particularly interested in hearing from candidates with expertise in at least one of the following areas, but will also consider other applicants who can bring a different perspective to the Trustee body: .Professional museum experience, Academic (FE, HE or research), Fundraising, Historic buildings, including architects and surveyors, Accountancy/finance, Legal, Organisational Change or a Personnel Management background, Commercial (particularly retail, catering or events), Marketing.

Contact details for applicants to find out more: Trustee Brief and application process is available on the Museum’s website. Dr Godfrey, Vice Chairman, will be pleased to discuss the positions with intending applicants on 01903 882474/07585 225367

Closing date: 1st April 2016



Gilbert White’s and the Oates Collections – Hampshire

Number of vacancies: 1

Number of meetings per annum/time commitment: 8 plus occasional visits

Daytime or evening meetings: Daytime

Gilbert White’s and the Oates Collections is a go-ahead and innovative independent museum in Selborne, north east Hampshire. We were founded by a member of the Oates family to commemorate the 18th century naturalist Gilbert White, and Captain Lawrence Oates, the polar explorer, and Frank Oates, who explored in Southern Africa and Central America in the late nineteenth century. We offer exhibitions on all three men, and in addition White’s garden, restored to its 18th century designs, and a Field Studies Centre visited by 4000 school children a year. A chartered accountant is sought by Gilbert White’s and the Oates Collections to join the trustees with particular responsibility for the oversight of management accounting and the annual final report and accounts. You would be joining a high quality and friendly group of trustees and ideally would need to live within 30 miles of Selborne (postcode GU34 3JH). This role would suit a recently-retired or self-employed individual seeking to join a strong team at the start of a very interesting time.

Contact details for applicants to find out more: Chairman of Trustees Dr Rosemary Irwin:

Closing date: ongoing


Birmingham Pen Trade Heritage Association – Birmingham

Number of vacancies: 3

Number of meetings per annum/time commitment: 5 to 6

Daytime or evening meetings: Evening

The Pen Museum  would very much like to hear from people with strong backgrounds in organisational leadership and development. Previous experience of Museums/charity work is not essential but it is important that trustees have a genuine interest in our work. We would also particularly like to hear from people with backgrounds in: Financial management Fundraising and income generation Business & commercial development Community development

Contact details for applicants to find out more: Please refer to the Museum website for further details:

Closing date: 26th February 2016


The Vindolanda Trust (Chesterholm Museum) – Northumberland

Number of vacancies: 3

Number of meetings per annum/time commitment: 4

Daytime or evening meetings: Weekend

The Vindolanda Trust (Chesterholm Museum) hold four Board meetings per year, each usually of 3 hours in length, though one could be an all-day planning and training session. In addition, Trustees may join a sub-committee if appropriate. Trustees are invited to profile-raising events at the Museums, other representational engagements, and to take part in recruitment for senior management positions, and they are encouraged to participate as much as possible. Trustees will also be expected to network on behalf of the Trust, in particular in support of fundraising activities. Trustees will need to allocate additional time to study papers and for travelling time to meetings.

Contact details for applicants to find out more: For more information please visit or contact our CEO Dr Andrew Birley at

Closing date: 29th February 12 noon


BAFM Travel Award Bursary 2016

The British Association of Friends of Museums (BAFM) is now offering a new bi-annual travel award. The winners may be either totally committed volunteers of any age, devoting many hours to his/her museum or gallery, or young professionals about to start on their careers in the museum world.

Travel could be either in this country or abroad and winners would spend time there, working behind the scenes, in order to extend their experience and make contacts for the future. Alternatively the placement could be in the form of a short duration internship, or the chance to work alongside a respected specialist.

Bafm 1

“This is an opportunity for a young person at the start of their museum career, or for a mature volunteer that would like to visit other museums to see the work undertaken. Whether you are 18 or 70, this award could help you gain new experiences to help your own museum,” explained Kate Kuhn, the Robert Logan Award Administrator at BAFM.

“Many years ago, I won a bursary to study in Zurich and never looked back. I am delighted that BAFM is now able to offer this opportunity,” said Alan Swerdlow, Regional Co-ordinator for BAFM.

Thanks to the most generous support of an anonymous donor, BAFM are able to commence the scheme in 2016. There will be one or more awards of up to a total of £2,000 available on each of three alternate years. This award will be made in the alternate years to BAFM’s Robert Logan Award.

Applicants are asked to submit a short paper of not more than 500 words on what they hope to achieve by:

*spending time at the particular venue

*the benefits to their career or organisation

*providing an indication of the total cost of the proposal in their submission.

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The closing date for applications is 30 April 2016 and full information and an application form can be found on the BAFM website

BAFM Travel Award Bursary 2016   


The Volunteers of the Year Award 2016

Every year, hundreds of museums, galleries and heritage sites across the UK rely on the support and dedication of their volunteers. From caring for collections, to meeting and greeting visitors, running shops and cafes and everything in between; volunteers perform vital and varied roles that help to make our heritage sector the best in the world.

In recognition of their hard work and commitment, the Museums+Heritage Awards in partnership with AIM have created a new  ‘Volunteers of the Year Award’ with the winners to be announced during the Museums + Heritage Awards for Excellence on Wednesday 18 May.

anna preedy

Celebrate your volunteers at the M+H Awards 2016

The Volunteers of the Year Award is open to any volunteer or volunteers from across the heritage sector and has a simple application process with a deadline of midnight on Monday 29 February.  Designed to be a real boon for those who work so hard to make a difference, this new category is free of charge to enter and is open to all museums, galleries and heritage visitor attractions across the UK.

“I hope that those responsible for managing volunteers within their organisation will want to show their appreciation and support,” said Anna Preedy, Event Director.  “We have kept the entry process as simple as possible and have waived the entry fee in the hope that as many organisations as possible will enter, regardless of their size or structure. This award is about giving everyone a chance, but it’s also about showcasing the very best volunteers and the invaluable contribution they have made to their organisation.  What better way to show how much volunteers really matter?”

For full information and how to apply, please visit:


London Volunteers in Museums Awards 2015

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.

London Volunteers in Museum Awards 2015 at the Painted Hall in The Old Royal Naval College.

London Volunteers in Museum Awards 2015 at the Painted Hall in The Old Royal Naval College (Photo Credit Josh Akin – copyright LHVMN15)

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.”

London Volunteers in Museum Awards 2015 at the Painted Hall in The Old Royal Naval College.

London Volunteers in Museums Awards some of the winners and representatives with judges (Photo Credit Josh Akin – copyright LHVMN15)

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

LVMA (London Volunteers in Museum Awards. IWM were the winners of the first award

IWM were the winners of the first award (Photo Credit Josh Akin – copyright LHVMN15)

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

Email:  ; tel: 07841 206862


AIM National Conference 2015

AIM National Conference  18 – 20 June 2015

‘The Hallmarks of Prospering Museums’

This year, the AIM National Conference will be held at the award-winning Brunel’s ss Great Britain in Bristol, with an exciting new conference format that develops the new AIM Hallmarks through three themes: Leadership, Purpose and Governance; Innovation in Visitor Experience and Entrepreneurialism and Income Generation.

The conference will feature 30 guest speakers, 12 breakout sessions, new surgery sessions and keynote speeches from some of the UK’s leading cultural experts including the Chairs, Directors or CEOs of: ss Great Britain, London Transport Museum, ALVA, HLF, Battersea Arts Centre, Development Partners, Imperial War Museum, Derby Silk Museum, Creative United, Tiverton Museum, Museum of Dartmoor Life, Gordon Highlanders Museum, Royal West of England Academy, Bexley Heritage Trust, Birmingham Conservation Trust, Association of Cultural Enterprises, Luton Museums and National Football Museum.

Front Page

NEW for this year will also be a ‘Question Time Debate’ with a guest panel, Chaired by Matthew Tanner.

The Panel:

Richard Evans (Director, Beamish, The Living Museum of the North)

Diane Lees (Director-General, Imperial War Museum)

Judy Niner (Director of Development Partners and Chair of Cogges Manor Farm)

John Orna-Ornstein (Director of Museums, Arts Council England)

Evening social events, industry exhibitors and a Saturday Study Tour that will visit three of Bristol’s most historic locations means that the AIM National Conference 2015 is ideal for anyone connected to the UK’s heritage sector.

With more speakers and relevant topics than ever before, plus plenty of networking and idea sharing opportunities, by attending AIM conference you will discover a range of practical approaches to help your museum or heritage organisation prosper.

Image courtesy of ss Great Britain

Image courtesy of ss Great Britain

Our special Early Bird booking rate starts at just £45 per day for AIM members and runs until April 17th.

Download the AIM National Conference Brochure: conference 2015 booklet WEB

For how to book, prices and a conference schedule, please visit the AIM website and view ‘EVENTS’ tab at:


Follow all conference updates on Twitter @AIMuseums #2015AIM

AIM would like to thank Brunel’s ss Great Britain and our conference sponsors Development Partners


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Harnessing disabled people’s ability to volunteer

Harnessing disabled people’s ability to volunteer | NCVO Blogs.

NCVO have published a really useful and important article by Abigail Kay about why we should all do more to ensure that volunteering opportunities, in museums and elsewhere, are open to everyone.

When you ask most people whether disabled people should be given the same opportunities as non-disabled people, they’ll probably say yes. Sadly, disabled people are much less likely to volunteer, but we can take steps to improve the situation by pushing for government funding to improve accessibility for disabled volunteers, and promoting a code of good practice for working with disabled people.

Benefits of volunteering for disabled people

Volunteering can have significant benefits for the volunteer. Much debated among these is improved employability. Whilethe type of volunteering that people do is likely to reflect inherent social inequalities, and the evidence directly linking volunteering and employability is limited, it has been repeatedly demonstrated that volunteers can gain new skills, increased confidence, and general improvements in health, well-being and happiness. These things in themselves can put people in a better position to find employment.

For disabled people, who are already less strongly represented in the workplace and thus struggle more to develop the necessary skills for employment, volunteering roles often provide essential opportunities in a more person-centric environment. In the report evaluating the Access to Volunteering pilot fund, 30% of grant-receiving organisations identified increased confidence among the disabled volunteers, and 16% said that volunteering had allowed the disabled volunteers to enter employment.

The benefits of engaging disabled volunteers

By properly appreciating and harnessing the diversity, volunteer-involving organisations can help to improve understanding of accessibility issues for disabled people and break down false perceptions or stereotypes held in society. This in turn creates a more welcoming environment for volunteers identifying as disabled.

Involving disabled volunteers, as well as providing additional skills and new insights to the volunteer-involving organisations, strengthens inter- and intra-community relationships within the communities that they operate.

To read the rest of the article visit: