Volunteers at Amgueddfa'r Môr (Porthmadog Maritime Museum) in Wales were among this year's recipients. Image: © Alan Fryer, Creative Commons

Museum volunteers recognised with Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Geraldine Kendall Adams, 05.06.2019
Honours mark the exceptional contribution of volunteer groups
Volunteers at a number of museums and heritage venues are among this year’s recipients of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, which recognises the exceptional service of volunteer groups within their communities.

The 281 recipients include Stonehaven Tolbooth Association, a team of volunteers that takes care of Tolbooth Museum and old town clock tower in Kincardineshire, Scotland. Comunn Eachdraidh Ni (Ness Historical Society), which helps to run the archive, museum and community hub on the Isle of Lewis, and Ullapool Museum Trust, also picked up awards.

In Wales, Amgueddfa'r Môr (Porthmadog Maritime Museum) made the list, as did Milton Keynes Museum in south-east England, whose volunteers are playing an integral role in its current £7.2m expansion.

The museum’s director, Bill Griffiths, said: “Receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service shines a light on the importance of our vast volunteer network. It is their enthusiasm and knowledge that has taken the museum to the next level.”

Also in the south-east, Mills Archive Trust, which preserves records of milling heritage, received an award.

In the south-west, the volunteer-run Beaminster Museum in West Dorset was recognised for making the county’s diverse heritage accessible to everyone. The museum’s chairman, Murray Rose, said: “It is a great honour for us to have been given this award. I sometimes look at our 60 volunteers and marvel at what we have achieved together.

“To run a museum demands such a wide range of disciplines. We need stewards, researchers, electricians, carpenters, painters, plumbers, display specialists, archivists, cataloguers, events organisers, an education specialist, a shop manager and an accountant - and all these are found from within our volunteers."

Volunteers at Coffin Works museum and Moor Pool Heritage trust in the West Midlands were also recognised.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Independent committee chair, Martyn Lewis, said: “The record number of nominations for this year’s Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service proves that volunteering at a grassroots level continues to thrive.”

Nominations for the 2020 awards are now open and close on 13 September 2019. Find out how to nominate an organisation here.

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