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Calling all volunteers!

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By West Midlands Museum Development / Posted on Tuesday 17th August 2021

Are you a museum volunteer?
Could you help us to promote museum volunteering?
Are you free on Tuesday 7 September?

West Midlands Museum Development (WMMD) is looking for a small, diverse group of volunteers to help us promote the benefits of volunteering and encourage new people to get involved. The volunteers will be featured in one of a series of films, as part of the WMMD Volunteers Celebration and Recruitment Campaign.

We are looking for pairs of volunteers who work together and individuals; to talk about their experiences on camera, tell people what they do, and why.

Whether you have volunteered to support a one-off event or short-term project at a museum, remotely volunteered online, have been volunteering every week for years or are a Trustee we’d love to hear from you.

What does it involve?
An interview-driven film, directed by Happenstance Films, that directly tackles stereotypes around who volunteers are and what they do. It will use humour and entertaining interviews. The film will also feature a montage of video and photographic materials gathered from the 141 Accredited West Midlands museums to engage the viewer and attract new museum volunteers.

Interviewees will be invited to attend a shoot at Winterbourne House and Garden/ University of Birmingham campus. You will answer questions in a filmed interview with other volunteers from across the West Midlands. You will share your enthusiasm and joy for museum volunteering with the viewer.

Your interviews will be used to create a short film and may also be included in the Volunteer Recruitment Marketing Toolkit and associated templates.

The films, toolkit and templates will be shared and used in the following ways;

  • Social media platforms including (but not limited to) Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, TikTok
  • Websites (WMMD website and third party websites)
  • Press and public relations materials (print and digital)
  • Printed materials (posters, leaflets, etc)

How do I get involved?
If you are interested in taking part please email before 5pm Thursday 19 August to arrange a call and find out more.

You may apply by yourself, or with a friend you volunteer with.

We are looking for a group of volunteers who will promote the diversity of volunteering experiences in regional Accredited museums across the West Midlands. Please be aware that spaces are limited and volunteers will be shortlisted to reflect a variety of experiences. Arts Council England Diversity Data indicates that Disabled, D/deaf and/or neurodivergent people, those from Black, Asian and Ethnically Diverse backgrounds are under-represented in the museum sector. We encourage people from those backgrounds, identities and experiences to get in touch if they’d like to take part.

WMMD will reimburse expenses (eg travel costs) of up to £50 per volunteer for the interviews.

More about the campaign

Although we won’t be hosting our regional volunteers awards ceremony again this year, we would still like to say Thank You to the thousands of museum volunteers in the region; the volunteers that have been working behind the scenes and at home, the Trustees that have applied for funding and monitored finances, the volunteers that have kept everyone in the loop and checked in on friends and colleagues during closure, and those that are eagerly waiting to return to venues.

The recent WMMD volunteering survey has demonstrated that many museums have seen a significant reduction in their volunteer numbers, with many long term volunteers choosing to permanently step down, concerns about safety over the coming months, new commitments; all reducing capacity and activity in many venues.

WMMD has commissioned Happenstance Films and Social For Good to develop a marketing campaign to celebrate and thank museum volunteers in the West Midlands. The campaign will showcase and promote the diverse opportunities and museums we work with and aims to encourage more people to volunteer in West Midlands museums.

The campaign will launch in autumn 2021 and consist of a series of short films that signpost viewers to opportunities on the WMMD Volunteers Portal. The films will be released alongside a Volunteer Recruitment Marketing Toolkit, which will include templates and guidance for using the films and resources to construct a bespoke recruitment campaign. Individual museums will be able to use the toolkit to promote their opportunities directly to their local communities and social media followers.

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