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Meet Our Finalists – Special Award: Young People

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By West Midlands Museum Development / Posted on Monday 18th September 2017

Meet Our Finalists – Special Award: Young People

The West Midlands Volunteer Awards 2017 are now just 24 hours away!  We can’t wait to welcome all our finalists to the Birmingham Hippodrome tomorrow night.  All that is left is for us to introduce you to the finalists in our final category ‘Special Awards: Audiences’…

Claire McGibbon, Blakesley Hall, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and Weoley Castle

“Claire started volunteering with the Trust in July 2015 when she joined the Heritage Interpreter team at Blakesley Hall. In this role Claire welcomes visitors to this timber-framed house, built in the 1500s, which is furnished using an inventory from the 17th century and reflects the lifestyle of a family from the late Tudor and Stuart period.”

“It is this history which Claire enthusiastically shares with visitors, and brings to life, on a weekly basis through her tours and involvement in engagement activities. She is a core part of a team who go above and beyond to make a difference at the Hall coming up with innovative ways to share their passion for the site and deliver great engagement- including supporting the planning and delivery of Tudor Weekend, Falconry Day, decorating the Hall for Christmas and planning a Christmases Past event.”

“In July 2016 Claire took on another role at the Trust by joining the Castle Keepers at Weoley Castle, This team meet every other Friday and get involved in everything from conservation of the ruins and cleaning the moss of the stones to planning craft activities at the site and taking part in our annual events including the Medieval Open Day and Falconry Day. Claire gets involved with everything from planting crocus bulbs to supporting family crafts and working with a corporate volunteer group to removing moss from the walls!”

“Now for any ordinary young person the above would be way more than enough, but not for Claire. In August 2016 Claire joined our volunteer Curator’s Assistant team too and is now a Curator’s Assistant to our History Curator. Claire has been working with the Sound Archive, which is a collection of over 1,400 recorded interviews from Birmingham people which began in the 1980s. Claire is working as part of a small team to catalogue these interviews, writing a transcript or summary report and recording the information in a database. The interviews are also then uploaded by Claire onto SoundCloud so that the public can access them for free. One of Claire’s particular projects was the Bournville project which she completed cataloguing and made available for others to access on the SoundCloud account.”

“She is a true advocate of our organisation and her hard work, passion and enthusiasm are clear whenever she is volunteering with us.” [Nominated by Rebecca Fletcher, Birmingham Museums Trust]

Hayfa Sultan, Birmingham Back to Backs

“Hayfa Sultan joined the National Trust through an initiative being run by the National Trust called the “trust me I’m a tour guide – young people’s summer challenge” the initiative is all about creating more accessible opportunities for young people aged 15 – 20 to become volunteers and advocates within the heritage sector.”

“In 2016 Hayfa saw a poster about the “trust me I’m a tour guide” initiative. At the age of 14 despite being outside of the criteria for participating in the initiative she made a choice that this was something she wanted to do for herself. Firstly she convinced her older sister to make enquires about the programme and what was involved. Hayfa’s sister was advised that Hayfa should apply in 2017.”

“Hayfa decided not to take no for an answer. She called the office leaving a message on our answerphone. On listening to this message it was apparent that this seemed like a very shy young person.”

“She was able to in her own unique and special way convince me that despite being just 14 she deserved a place on the initiative. A meeting was arranged the following week with Hayfa and her parents. I was exceptionally impressed with her determination and happy to offer her a space on the programme.”

“During the week long programme Hayfa supported by a previous participant worked with the other 15 young people and really held her own. Growing in confidence each day smiling laughing and even leading some team activities was wonderful to see. On Friday the last day of the programme the 15 young people took over the museum and hosted an event where they in teams took members of their families, friends and the public on an alternative style of back to backs tours.”

“6 months on Hayfa is volunteering in 3 roles.”

“Hayfa has shown what passion looks like she has shown what it means to be dedicated and determined.”

“The smile she puts on is catchy and is spreading and for her when she comes in to volunteer, she feels like she is finally in control of her future and working towards her ultimate goal of more independence and in the gaining of sufficient skills and confidence to be accepted on the 6 week tour guide course.” [Nominated by Mukith Miah, Birmingham Back to Backs]

 

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