Society's Volunteers Receive 2014 Marsh Award

The Society is delighted to announce that it's dedicated team of volunteers for its 2014 exhibition Portraying the Past have been honoured as recipients of the 2014 Marsh Award for 'Volunteers for Museum Learning' (joint recipients of the London regional award with Ham House's Still House volunteers). The award celebrates the work and achievements of museum volunteers throughout Great Britain, recognising the hugely valuable contribution that volunteers make in helping museums engage with their visitors. The Society applied for the award on behalf of its 2014 team of exhibition volunteers, which included a few Fellows, because of the essential contributions the volunteers made to the Portraying the Past exhibition. Without this dedicated and enthusiastic team, the exhibition would not have been possible and the Society could not have embarked upon its Magna Carta Through the Ages exhibition this past year.

The ‘Volunteers for Museum Learning’ award forms part of a programme of awards presented by the Marsh Christian Trust in the fields of science, ecology, conservation, heritage, literature and volunteering. Each one of these awards recognises individuals and organisations who devote their lives to improving the world today and the world in the future. The Marsh awards programme is managed in association with key partners including the Zoological Society of London, English Heritage, Barnardo’s, the Refugee Council and the British Museum. The aim of the ‘Volunteers for Museum Learning’ award is to recognise those volunteers who work directly with museum visitors in any capacity.

There were a large number of applications from across the UK, some from groups of volunteers and some from individuals. The judges consisted of staff from the Marsh Trust, staff and volunteers from the British Museum and a representative from another museum. The British Museum hosted the awards (for the seventh year in a row), being very aware of the crucial contribution volunteers make to the well-being of the museums and their enjoyment by the public. (Due to the British Museum’s involvement in the ceremony and judging, volunteers from the British Museum were ineligible for the awards.)

Joanna Mackle, Deputy Director of the British Museum said “Museums large and small are reliant on the contribution volunteers make to ensure the smooth and successful running of their organisation. The Marsh Awards recognise the vital work that volunteers do in museums across the country and we are very grateful to the Marsh Christian Trust for acknowledging this work.”

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Winners of 2014 Marsh Awards (Volunteers for Museum Learning):

  • Scotland: Robert (Bob) Shanks at The Highlanders Museum, near Inverness.
  • North East: Joan Milne and Fiona Southern at the
    Discovery Museum, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
  • North West: The Edmund Gardner Volunteer Tour Guides at the Merseyside Maritime Museum, Liverpool
  • Yorkshire: The Education Volunteers’ Team from The Bronte Parsonage, Haworth
  • East Midlands: The Museum Volunteers’ Team at The Museum of Nottingham Life, Brewhouse Yard
  • West Midlands: The Arty Tots Volunteers’ Team at the Market Hall Museum, Warwick
  • Wales: Megan Rees at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth
  • East England: Ian Reed at the East Anglian Railway Museum, Colchester
  • South West: The Archive & Library Volunteers’ Team, at the Wiltshire Museum, Devizes
  • South East: The Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Volunteers at the Mary Rose
    Museum, Portsmouth
  • London:
    • The Volunteers’ Team at the Society of Antiquaries of London (joint winners)
    • The Still House Volunteers at Ham House, near Richmond (joint winners)
  • Northern Ireland: Paul McAlorum and Stephen Doyle, The Naughton Gallery, Queens University, Belfast.
  • National Winners: The Museum Volunteers Team at The Museum of Nottingham Life, Brewhouse Yard.