The winners of the 2015 SHARE Volunteer Awards for Museums in the East were announced on the 4th June at a special celebration evening at the Athenaeum, Bury St Edmunds. We are delighted to share the full list of winners and those who were highly commended in their category below.
The judges felt that, in a strong field of young people who are bringing great energy and creativity to the museum world, James’s dedication, consistency and commitment and his obvious passion for his role really stood out. They were delighted to note that he has recently been awarded an apprenticeship at the museum.
This is an important initiative, and the judges were impressed by the range of ages involved, the team ethic and high level of collaboration amongst the group. They especially praised the emphasis placed on skills development and on project management.
Vanessa has implemented not one but two innovative schemes at Braintree Museum, both very simple but both stunningly effective in changing perceptions of the museum and in generating repeat visits from schools. These ideas could be readily adopted by other museums and the judges really did “wish they’d thought of that”!
Fiona has had the creativity and imagination to bring her working life experience and her commitment to volunteering together to develop a project that crosses the boundaries between the health and museum sectors for the benefit of a group of dementia sufferers and their carers. This is a significant and praiseworthy achievement.
Enthusiasm, passion, patience, modesty, rapport, joyful, happy and fun-loving are just some of the words used to describe Viv and Chester in their roles at the American Air Museum. Between them they have ‘humanised’ the flying experience for hundreds of families visiting Duxford and are excellent ambassadors for the museum.
Members of a team that never says ‘No’, Karen and Lynne have transformed the visitor experience at Braintree and along the way have changed the thoughts and practice of their fellow volunteers. Taking ownership of their roles as the first point of contact with visitors, they demonstrate great commitment and a real belief in the museum and in the shop’s contribution to its success.
The judges felt that Toni was an outstanding nominee for this award, demonstrating great enthusiasm, commitment and imagination in her role. Toni wins accolades from her colleagues and from the volunteers in her teams for her leadership, efficiency, cheerfulness and dedication. In a short time she has made a real impact on the service.
The judges were very impressed with the way that Nicola had empowered the volunteers to take an increasingly full part in the life of the museum, to mutual benefit.
In a very large field one person really stood out, and in fact the judges wondered how the Cambridge Museum of Technology would function without John Connett’s cheerful willingness to take on any role that will help the museum achieve its goals. Always on call, and often unseen, John keeps the IT systems and the boiler working efficiently but he will also take on more public-facing roles at events and community functions and in giving tours. A man who can turn his spanner to any task!
The judges were particularly impressed with Emma’s great sense of responsibility and with her ability to take the initiative in caring for the museum and its collections and in taking on a role as spokesperson for the volunteers.
Both at a practical and at a strategic level, Claire has succeeded in ensuring that proper recognition is given to the museum’s archive collection and in doing so she has improved its profile and accessibility . In a largely unsung area of museum work, Claire has profoundly influenced her museum’s programming for the better.
The judges felt that Kate and Bob were two outstanding examples of two different models of volunteering. Bob brings the skills and knowledge of a lifetime’s work with natural history collections and shares them with generosity with his colleagues and particularly with younger volunteers and interns. Often seen as neglected orphans, Bob has passed on his enthusiasm for the collections in a way that will ensure their future. Kate’s outstanding contribution is one that is so often overlooked – people skills. Kate brings warmth and humanity to her role, going out of her way to ensure that the public, and particularly children and families enjoy their time in the museums. Despite working full time and with a family of her own, Kate is always reliable and capable, but almost certainly unaware of how highly the museum values her contribution.
The judges were impressed with the way this team has blended together volunteers from three different organisations, with different skills and knowledge, into a single cohesive group, without ever losing sight of their individual contributions. Dedication, openness, professionalism, and adaptability are keynotes of their work, and the wider community will benefit.
There can be very few organisations in Beccles whose work Alan, as the Honorary Curator, has not supported with his skills and knowledge, and encouraged in their activities, from the hospital fete, to the town council, to the U3A and the local walking group. The judges highly commend Alan for his efforts to fully integrate the museum into the community and for his determination that the museum should be seen as outward looking and community focussed.
Congratulations and thank you to all our nominees, without whom the museums in our region could not run. The full nomination list is available to download below:2015 Volunteer Awards Nomination List