Funding for our Museum volunteer programme

Museums Galleries Scotland has announced details of thirteen projects that have been given the green light to be supported by their Strategic Investment and Recognition Funds. Many of the projects focus on making collections more accessible to the public.

The City of Edinburgh Council's Museums and Galleries Volunteer Programme has been chosen to receive funding for a Volunteer Coordinator who will be employed to develop and innovate the city's award-winning programme.

In recent months, volunteers have helped to landscape a public courtyard at the Museum of Edinburgh in the Canongate, have visited day care centres with ‘memory boxes’ for those who can’t make it into museums, and have taken part in Edinburgh's renowned ‘Museum Boot Camp’.

Boot Campers receive training in order to receive a broad understanding of museum practice. During the course of the Camp, participants are given the challenge of putting on a small display of museum objects. They are responsible for choosing items and preparing display text themselves, before the display is then installed and on show for the public to see at one of the Council's many museums

Commenting on the funding news, Councillor Richard Lewis, Edinburgh’s Culture and Sport Convener, said: “Local authorities across Scotland are having to work harder to look after their museums and precious collections. In this climate, volunteers are crucial and help us to look after thousands of precious items relating to Edinburgh’s heritage.

“We have a popular and award-winning volunteer programme which not only supports the function of our venues and the full time staff, but teaches volunteers professional skills such as recording objects and loans and restoring ancient items for public display. Many volunteers also make social visits to care homes and day centres to provide reminiscence activities for older people. The programme has received national recognition and some of our volunteers have moved into museum careers.

“This award from Museums Galleries Scotland will allow us to recruit a part-time Volunteer Coordinator for two years to manage and develop our programme. They will work across our fantastic venues, helping to improve and develop our systems.”

Last year, Museums Alive volunteers won a regional (Scotland) award at the Marsh Trust Award for Volunteers in Museum Education. The Marsh Trust awards recognises best practice and the innovative ways in which volunteers work in museums and galleries to engage the public with collections. The year before, the volunteers won an Inspiring Volunteering Award 2013.

Volunteers at the Museum of London Archaeological Archives

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