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Winners of the West Midlands Volunteers Awards 2019

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By West Midlands Museum Development / Posted on Thursday 19th September 2019

Yesterday evening at Birmingham Hippodrome 150 guests were treated to an evening of fun, food and frivolity as the winners were announced.

Matt Windle, host for the evening and Birmingham Poet Laureate 16/18, created poems for the evening about the finalists’ achievements:

Individuals and Young People Finalists

A committed volunteer that shares knowledge and facts
Barry Bull helps to keep Chasewater on the railway tracks
Sharing history with the public on her engaging tours
We say thank you to Gayle Bevan from Aston Hall

A generous sharer of time and a vital member of the Selly Manor team
To wear Gill Salisbury’s costumes, the kids are bursting at her seams
Jan Barnes has been volunteering for almost 25 years
Shropshire museums know her value and worth

Thrown in the deep end on the first day and ever since then
There’s been no holding back Jovan Jules at Pen
Mike Hermolle is meticulous with all of his work
Everyone at “Grandad’s museum” knows your Lap-worth

The gallery couldn’t manage the collection and archives day to day
If it wasn’t for Nigel Priddey’s help at the RBSA
Inside the Museum of Uttoxeter, Pam McNamee gives her best
And works tirelessly to ensure the project’s success

At Compton Verney, what could be greater?
Than having Roger Salmons to lend a hand and analyse their data
Have fun at the Coventry Transport Museum, simply have a go and play
‘Cause Terry Rahilly enables learning to develop in a new way

With young people, Steven Harris shares his expertise
At RAF Cosford so they’re experience is increased
A blacksmithing student with a can-do frame of mind
Alex Rowe made an impact at Waterworks in a short space of time

We need more people at Claymills Victorian Pumping Station
Like Jacob Fowkes who is a huge inspiration
At the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Phoebe Kelly has enthusiasm and passion that is clear to see

You’re all an integral piece to the puzzle
That helps our museums in their moments of trouble
You may be unsung, but you don’t go unnoticed
So thank you for your drive, your hunger and focus

Group and Project Finalists

Collections volunteer team have become like a family
Their good humour, kindness and support has a limitless capacity
Erasmus Darwin House Education delivers bespoke activities
To cater for a school’s specific wants and needs

A meticulous mindset where creativity is never rushed
The Fossils in Shropshire have edited over 11,000 records which would have remained untouched
From being Father Christmas to the Easter Bunny, they’ll always be there
Gallery Support delivers high standards of visitor care

The volunteers at Gladstone pottery can achieve anything that they put their mind to
Their connection with the museum holds unprecedented value
The Natural Science Team at the PMAG
Cannot be overlooked for their contributions and loyalty

The Oak House Gardeners have transformed the grounds
They are undoubtedly one reason why the visitors come around
The Research Team will listen to all of your thoughts
There’s never a request that they will not support

Thanks to the Thinktank Conservation Team Members, their work will ensure
That the collection on display is better cared for
The Thursday Collection duo do not expect prizes even though they are stars
But George Marshall Medical wanted to show how appreciated they are

Broadway Museum’s volunteers go above and beyond
When a task is at hand they’re there to respond
Hugely instrumental in the ongoing success
Are the Volunteer Demonstrators of the Winterbourne Press

With little more than a strong determination and a working kettle
Worcester Heritage and Amenity showed that they have the mettle
Coffin Works’ Collections are a power house of a team
And today simply marks all that they have achieved

The Jake Whitehouse project shares so much knowledge and time
And now they deserve their moment to shine
Lace Guild are anything but ordinary
They brought the attention of the museum to many

The Reminiscence Team has heart and warmth at their centre
They’ve made a real difference for people with dementia
From art work to embroidery they’re continuously grafting
Amazing the visitors are the Croft Cloth Crafting

Works On Paper are bringing unseen collections to life
Giving them a platform for the very first time
So no matter what, your museum may face
They know they have you to back-up their case

You’re the connective tissue that supports and binds
And look at what you can accomplish, when your skills are combined

Our winners

Group Winner

Worcester Heritage & Amenity Trust BoardTudor House Museum


Award presented by Cadi Price, Severn Gorge Countryside Trust (left)

Individual Winner

Barry BullChasewater Railway Museum


Award presented by Rhea Alton, J&PR Ltd (left)

Project Winner

Reminiscence Volunteer TeamBirmingham Back to Backs


Young Person Winner

Alex RoweWaterworks Museum


Award presented by Jodie Lloyd, Telford and Wrekin Council (left)

The judges also Highly Commended Young Person

Jacob FowkesClaymills Victorian Pumping Station


Award presented by Jodie Lloyd, Telford and Wrekin Council (left)

The Judges Award for Excellence

Reminiscence Volunteer TeamBirmingham Back to Backs

Congratulations to all our winners!


The winners celebrating with host Matt Windle (right)

The Winners, poem by Matt Windle Birmingham Poet Laureate 16/18

Today has been filled with hard working women and men
But here are the four winners and some words about them

Showing fantastic support and a knowledge that’s shared
It’s Barry Bull from Chasewater who has proved that he cares
With his level of commitment over the past 50 years (yeers)
His work ethic is an inspiration to all of his peers

With an ambitious talent for getting the community on board
It’s Worcester Heritage & Amenity Trust that takes home the group award
The Tudor House Museum wouldn’t be open without them
So your score for this is a ten out of ten

Understanding their audience and improving access to collections in store
It’s a challenging project for the Reminiscence Volunteer team to go for
But they develop good practice which really spreads throughout
So the Birmingham Back to Backs deserves a shout-out

The I.T savvy, young person in the know
Is the Waterworks museums – Alex Rowe
He’s the whole package who makes blogs interesting
A young mind of ideas that keeps manifesting

So thank you to the museums, the nominees, and of course, the winners too
Keep on pushing the boundaries and keep on being you!

Photo credits: Ed Bagnall Photography

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