The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust have launched their third volunteer award scheme for museums in the West Midlands region, through their West Midlands Museum Development Programme, funded by Arts Council England.
The West Midlands Volunteer Awards were developed in 2016 to recognise and reward the invaluable role and significant contribution made by volunteers to the museums in the region. Volunteers are widely credited with being the life blood of many museums, generously giving their time amounting to 1000’s of hours of support per year. They bring energy, enthusiasm and expertise to all areas of museum life and the awards are a chance for everyone to hear their stories and to acknowledge and celebrate their achievements.
Karen Davies, Director of Museum Development at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, said: “We are delighted to have received such high quality nominations for the third West Midlands Volunteer Awards. Volunteers are the backbone of many museums and it is fitting that their contribution is being acknowledged through the Awards. The judging panel certainly had a hard task to select the winners.”
Nominees from across the West Midlands region have been shortlisted for the prestigious awards in categories such as ‘Museum Champion’, ‘Collections’ and ‘Young People’. A total of 32 nominees have made the shortlists and the winners of each category will be announced at an inspiring awards ceremony at the Birmingham Hippodrome on Thursday 6 September hosted by documentary film-maker, actor and writer, Ray Johnson.
An impressive 11 shortlisted nominees from Birmingham are heading to the Awards Ceremony in the following categories:
- ‘Against the Odds’ –Neil Robinson from Birmingham Back to Backs
- ‘Collections’ – Curator’s Assistants (Natural Science) from Birmingham Museum Collections Centre
- ‘Museum Champion Team’ – Birmingham Places Where People Live Volunteering Team from Birmingham Back to Backs
- ‘Museum Champion Team’ – Coffin Works’ Volunteer Team from Newman Brothers at the Coffin Works
- ‘Museum Champion Individual’ – Viv Astling from Royal Birmingham Society of Artists
- ‘Museum Champion Individual’ – Mary McHenry from Newman Brothers at the Coffin Works
- ‘Museum Champion Individual’ – Jack Richardson from Lapworth Museum of Geology
- ‘Project’– ColLABorators from Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
- ‘Warmest Welcome’ – Gillian Jones and Jack Wilson from Soho House
- ‘Young People’ – Julian Kiely from Lapworth Museum of Geology
- ‘Young People’ – Joe Welch from Pen Museum
The Awards are part of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust’s National Portfolio and Museum Development programmes and are funded through Arts Council England.