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.

AIM Survey 2016: Please Tell Us What You Think

We are thinking about how AIM can better help heritage organisations prosper in the next few years and we’d really like to know what you think. We’ve put together a survey to help you share your views with us and we’d be grateful if you would take five or ten minutes to complete it.

You are welcome to complete the survey even if you are not an AIM member.

Survey link: AIM Membership Survey 2016

Last time we asked you to complete a survey like this (in 2014) we were thrilled at the response and it made a big difference to what we do. The results were used by AIM Council to help develop our planning for 2015-18 and helped us create the Hallmarks of Prospering Museums.

It also helped us to secure the £900,000 investment from Arts Council England and funds from the Welsh Government, which are being used now through our Hallmarks programmes of leadership development, grants and governance support. Most of all – it helps us understand your challenges and how we can do more to help you. 


The survey is primarily designed for people working in or supporting heritage organisations, so some of the questions may not be relevant if you are a supplier or consultant member (and thank you again to those of our suppliers and consultants who completed our survey for you last year.)

Please consider sharing this link with colleagues in the museum and heritage sector.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to let us know what you think. We will share the results with you in the February Bulletin and on the AIM blog.

If you have thoughts that don’t fit in the survey, please email me as well at 

Tamalie Newbery

Executive Director (AIM)


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



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:


Museums + Heritage Volunteers of the Year Award

There’s no denying that without the hard work and support of volunteers, that many museums and heritage sites simply wouldn’t be able to operate. Each year, thousands of volunteers across the UK willingly devote their spare time to help out at museums and heritage sites across the whole sector and many AIM member museums and sites are run entirely by volunteer teams – what would we do without them!

To celebrate the work of this amazing group of people, the Museums + Heritage Awards in partnership with AIM have just announced a new Volunteers of the Year Award with the winners to be announced during the Museums + Heritage Awards for Excellence on Wednesday, May 18 in the Historic Staterooms of 8 Northumberland Avenue.


Time to celebrate! The Museum + Heritage Awards are always good fun (Photo credit: M+H Awards 2015/ Simon Callaghan Photography

The Volunteers of the Year Award:

*Is free to enter

*Is open to any volunteer(s) from the whole museum and heritage sector – not just for independent museums

*Nominations close at midnight on Monday 29 February 2016

*Has a simple application process

Tamalie Newbery, Executive Director of AIM says:  “The Association of Independent Museums is partnering this award on behalf of all its members and the wider community of heritage organisations out there who are supported by an incredible number of volunteers every year. Many of these organisations could not exist without the dedication and commitment of these individuals and they deserve to be recognised and celebrated”.

You can find out more about these awards on the Museums + Heritage Awards website here:

Volunteers of the Year Award

Volunteers’ Week 2015: 1-7 June

Volunteers’ Week is an annual event which takes place on 1-7 June. It celebrates the contribution made by millions of volunteers across the UK. It’s run by NCVO in partnership with Volunteer Development Scotland,  Volunteer Now  (Northern Ireland) and Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

From showcasing the different volunteering roles on offer, taster sessions and team challenges with new partners, to volunteer recruitment events, awards ceremonies and launching new volunteering campaigns, events take place throughout the country.

Everyone is invited to join this national celebration of volunteers and volunteering, it’s up to you to decide exactly how you join in. Please let the team know if you are planning an event.

marion and roger

Archive & library volunteers, Marion and Roger at Torfaen Museum Trust (Pontypool Museum)

Some of the events planned for Volunteers Week 2015 include:

Twitter Party – 1st June: Follow the @NCVOvolunteers twitter account and send your thank you messages to your volunteers using #volunteersweek.

Pinterest Boards – The Volunteers’ Week team want to see and share your best photos on their  Pinterest board

You can also gain useful tips from the Volunteers’ Week Blog

If your museum or heritage site is planning to get involved this year, you can sign up to receive updates using the Volunteers’ Week Online Form. You can also register to receive a digital resource pack here.

Vols week

Museums might also be interested in Investing in Volunteers which is the UK quality standard for good practice in volunteer management. 

Welsh Grants for AIM National Conference 2015

The Federation of Museums & Art Galleries Wales is offering grants under its Training and Conference Grant programme to enable museum staff (paid or volunteers) in Wales to attend the Association of Independent Museums 2015 Conference.

The 2015 AIM Conference will be held at Brunel’s ss Great Britain Bristol, from 18-20 June. The theme is ‘The Hallmarks of Prospering Museums’. Details here: AIM National Conference 2015

ss GB_30I2348

         A fine day at ss Great Britain

*Grants available up to £250 maximum per person to contribute towards conference fees, travel, the conference dinner and two nights’ accommodation.

*First come first served (limited funding available)

*Priority to independent museums, and museum mentors / museum development officers

*Not normally more than 2 per museum (in addition to a museum mentor)

*N.B. Early bird discounts on conference fees for AIM members before April 17th – we expect you to apply for these rates.

AIM National Conference is an ideal opportunity to mix with other staff and volunteers in independent museums. It is a very friendly conference, and focuses on practical issues presented by people who have done it.  Those who went in previous years found it very useful.


Clifton Suspension Bridge – on the AIM Conference Study Tour this year

Note: Other Federation Grant eligibility rules apply.

Application Form: WF AIM Application Form

Any queries to:  John Marjoram, Federation Development Officer:

AIM would like to thank The Federation of Museums & Art Galleries of Wales for their support.


 Images courtesy of ss Great Britain and Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust

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


Layout 1

What are you doing for Volunteers’ Week? 1-7th June 2014

Volunteers are vital to museums. Almost all AIM members have dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers who are vital to the organisation’s success and sustainability. About a third of our members are entirely run by volunteers. So Volunteers’ Week seems a great opportunity to highlight their vital role in looking after our country’s amazing and diverse heritage, whilst saying a huge THANK YOU to each and every volunteer who helps their local museum.

Volunteers’ Week is a national event, now in its 30th year. This year it will be from 1-7th June 2014. They produce a large range of resources to help you celebrate Volunteers’ Week and spark your ideas about how to do it. You can sign up to receive the resource pack and email updates here.

Here’s a taste of what you will get in your resource pack:

This year is the 30th anniversary of Volunteers’ Week and it’s time to celebrate!

What’s it all about? During Volunteers’ Week hundreds of events will be taking place across the country to say thank you to volunteers, recognising the important contribution they make. Please join us in saying thank you to the volunteers who make our society a better place, and in highlighting the many different ways that people can get involved.

Celebrating 30 Years This year also marks the 30 years since the campaign was established in 1984. To recognise the 30th anniversary we are using the number 30 as a hook and theme for the week.

Be creative with the number and your activity ideas. Recognise the contribution your volunteers make, whether it’s 30 seconds, 30 minutes, 30 hours, 30 days or even 30 years

Offer 30 minute taster sessions – this will provide an opportunity for people to try out volunteering for the first time, or existing volunteers might want to try a different role.

Run activities using the 30 theme.

Hold a 30th birthday party for your organisation if you are 30 this year. Use the 30 years badge.

Hold an awards ceremony for your volunteers

If you are about to start a new volunteering project, launch it during Volunteers’ Week.

Hold a recruitment event – Volunteers’ Week is a good time to generate interest in volunteering, highlight the benefits and show how your volunteers help you to achieve your mission.

Running events in new locations might help to attract people who wouldn’t usually hear about your organisation or volunteer for you.

The sign-up pack includes links to all sorts of other resources including:

  • Micro-volunteering guidance
  • An event flyer template
  • A 30 year badge to use on your materials
  • A certificate template for volunteer awards
  • A template letter and 5 tips for inviting your MP
  • Volunteers’ Week logos
  • Press release template
  • A volunteer map where you can record your event

The contact details for more information are:

Volunteers in a Changing Environment – Free seminar from ABTEM

The Association of British Transport and Engineering Museums (ABTEM) are holding a free Spring Seminar on Volunteers in a Changing Environment. You can read more about ABTEM’s work on their very useful blog –

 At a time when museums are facing significant challenges and a difficult economic climate, the recruitment and retention of volunteers is vitally important for the sustainability of many organisations. Accordingly, on Wednesday 30th April, ABTEM will be holding a free seminar at STEAM (Museum of the GWR, Swindon) exploring current developments in volunteering.

Topics covered will include:

  • change management
  • legal issues
  • valuing volunteers
  • recruitment
  • training
  • health & safety

We look forward to sharing a day of good practice amongst volunteers and their managers who work in museums with transport and engineering collections.

Limited travel bursaries will be available for this meeting through Arts Council England Subject Specialist Network Funding – details of how to apply are available at:

 Please visit to book a place at this FREE seminar

For further information please contact: