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Meet Our Finalists – Working Together

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By West Midlands Museum Development / Posted on Monday 11th September 2017

Meet Our Finalists – Working Togethertickets

The seating plan has been finalised and the tickets are getting ready to be posted.  We can’t wait to see all of this years West Midlands Volunteer Awards finalists on the night!

Grounds Team, Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park

“The team help keep the park looking great and have been instrumental in our restoration project to re-instate original Capability Brown features and to open up our landscape to visitors. They have helped clear coppices, create pathways and planted 100’s of bulbs, bushes and trees. All of which adds a real wow factor to the park and has certainly encouraged visitors to explore and discovery more around the site.”grounds-team-compton-verney

“In 2016 the team had the added challenge of a 1950’s allotment, an area dedicated to ‘grow your own’ that was connected to our summer exhibition. They were responsible for creating and planting up the plot and ensuring it was secure from pests. They also raided their own sheds to dress the allotment with gardening artefacts, such as galvanised buckets, watering cans and old tools.
Once open, the volunteers tended the site and engaged our visitors with the project. Visitors were intrigued to see what was growing and it was a great way of connecting our park with the gallery – the allotment became another exhibition space. The allotment had an evocative effect on visitors and there was laughter and tears when family memories were shared.”

“The team loved the allotment project, learning all about heritage varieties and organic principles, some of which they used in their own gardens. It is a real example of volunteering helping a project and new skills and knowledge being learnt and used.” [Nominated by Emily Medcraft and Susan Watt, Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park]

Millers, Sarehole Mill

“Sarehole Mill is a 250 year old working watermill with two waterwheels, one of which is operational and is used to grind wheat every Wednesday and Sunday. It is this role which our fabulous team of volunteer Millers take on enthusiastically and demonstrate to visitors on a weekly basis.”millers-1

“it is because of them that we are now able to regularly produce our own flour on site. On top of this exceptional achievement they have also sought to develop the visitor experience further and have, through their own initiative, built a functional clay bread oven for the Mill and also supported a restoration of the waterwheel in 2015 where each of the 36 timber buckets had to be dismantled and replaced by hand.”

“The team is made up of twelve wonderful, dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers who work in pairs each Wednesday and Sunday to run the Mill. But the team go above and beyond this and have, since 2016, worked with our Learning & Access Team to support Creative Carers events at the site and also with our Commercial Team to support bread baking classes at Sarehole Mill.”

“Birmingham Museum Trust’s Creative Carers programme is a free programme which once a month provides Birmingham’s carers with a creative outlet and space through which they can meet new people and express their artistic flare. The Millers have run a number of baking workshops for the group; these enable carers to feel revitalised and help to give them a space and time for them. Not only have this fabulous team been supporting Birmingham’s Carers, they have also been reaching other audiences too. In December 2016 the team baked bread rolls using Sarehole Mill flour for the New Street Soup Kitchen to support the homeless and hungry of Birmingham.” [Nominated by Rebecca Fletcher, Birmingham Museums Trust]

Research Team, Museum of Royal Worcester

“Crucially, the museum aims to share this story with new audiences, and bring the factory to life for children, families and young people. Zoe Harris the museum’s Learning, Outreach and Volunteering Officer, has been developing a new and vibrant programme of learning opportunities for these audiences and in doing so has relied heavily on the expert research skills of our volunteers Liz Flack and Paul Hill.”liz-flack-morw

“Thanks to the information gleaned from their work, Zoe has now developed an exciting and highly-creative activity programme showcasing gems from the archives which brings the unique story of the porcelain factory to life. The programme has been rolled out to over 230 children”

“Through a choice of innovative workshops, all can discover what life was like for workers at the factory in the 1800s, explore the history of tea-drinking and trade and the influence of Chinese art and culture on British tastes. The museum even has a Chinese Shadow Puppet Theatre! Teachers have described the programme as fantastic, engaging and interactive and “one of the best they have come across in 10 years of teaching”.”paul-hill-morw

“Liz and Paul attend on regular days each week to assist with research tasks set them by both Zoe and other members of staff. Between them they have been volunteering at the museum for over four years, and have contributed over 60 research hours in June 2017, alone!”

“Their fact-finding activities in the museum’s archive store have provided answers to questions which have directly enhanced the museum’s new learning programme, have ensured that the museum utilises its archive and collection of oral histories of former workers, and have provided some great examples of former workers and their antics, like the ‘Terrible Seven’ who used a master painter’s vase as a wicket while playing cricket in the factory!” [Nominated by Zoe Harris, Museum of Royal Worcester]

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