Pioneering Volunteer Makers – A New Era for Engaging Audiences

Volunteer Makers is delighted to announce its speakers for the Pioneering Volunteer Makers conference on 17th November.

Participants will hear from the museums themselves who are pioneering Volunteer Makers and the steps they have taken to create an organisational-wide engagement culture and implement new thinking in volunteer engagement.

  • Laura Kinnear, Curator, Holst Birthplace Museum, Cheltenham
  • Hannah Mather, Jarrow Hall, NE EMP Chair and TWAM Volunteer
  • Fran Riando, Volunteer Manager, Geffrye Museum, London
  • Jessica Hartshorn, Learning and Outreach Officer, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum
  • Amanda Hart, Director, Corinium Museum, Cirencester

I could see instantly the potential to grow a community of what Volunteer Makers call ‘blended volunteers’, and how this could start from someone volunteering to lay our fire once a week to eventually becoming a Visitor Experience Assistant’. Laura Kinnear

Volunteering can make a real difference not only to the organisation which you are supporting but it can also have a positive impact on your own life. I know from my own experience how rewarding it can be to give a little’. Hannah Mather

Everyone was buzzing and excited after the session, and I can honestly say I have never had such heart felt positive feedback about a change of system before!’ Jessica Hartshorn

Volunteer Makers is a national programme of volunteer engagement training and a digital application for museums supported by Arts Council England.

A third of people in the UK are volunteering and the value of volunteering is worth billions. With shifts in demographics, digital and funding models a new way of thinking is necessary if museums are to engage volunteers in a way to sustain and diversify their audiences.

Volunteer Makers is a different model for engaging and inspiring volunteers which grows a museum’s community of active supporters, providing a measurable value exchange.

Volunteer Makers National Conference is a FREE fringe event for Visitors and Delegates at the Museums Association Conference, Manchester, Friday 17th November, 1:30-16:20. Includes lunch and refreshments.

This is a chance for museums to further participate in Volunteer Makers and understand the benefits of Blended and Micro-Volunteering and how this affects the workforce now and into the future.

Please register here for the Volunteer Makers event: as places are limited. If you are attending as a Visitor you can access the MA free Exhibition programme too. If you are planning to attend the MA Conference as a Delegate, please also register as places are limited.

For more information please contact: Anna Bryant, Project Engagement and Marketing Manager @VolunteerMakers


New opportunities – British Museum National Programmes

NEW training opportunity: Getting Loan Ready

Colleagues are invited to register their interest for this free four-day residential course of in-depth training on borrowing at the British Museum from 23-26 January 2018. The training is designed for people working or volunteering within the museum and heritage sector who would like to develop their knowledge and understanding of the loans process so that their organisations will be better able to borrow from national collections in future. Generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, there are travel and accommodation bursaries available for all delegates.

Places are limited to 10 delegates, and will be allocated by the British Museum. As the training has so far only been delivered in England, museum colleagues applying from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will be prioritised. All expressions of interest must be received by 15 November 2017 via the Eventbrite booking form here:

NEW Collections Skills Sharing sessions

Booking is now open for the final round of free collections skills sharing sessions at the British Museum. Designed for people working or volunteering within the museum and heritage sector, there are travel bursaries available thanks to the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. Tickets are free, but booking is essential via Eventbrite using the links below:


NEW resource: Palaeo Network UK (PALNETUK)

Colleagues are invited to join a new a forum for the archaeological and scientific understanding of the Pleistocene and Palaeolithic record in the United Kingdom: PALNETUK. It aims to support communication and networking across the sector to improve our approach to the human and environmental records of the Ice Age. As a first step in developing this network we invite you to join the mailing list, hosted by JISCMAIL. To subscribe, please email the words “SUBSCRIBE PALNETUK” to PALNETUK-REQUEST@JISCMAIL.AC.UK. Further information on PALNETUK is attached.

Job Opportunities

The Mental Health Museum, Wakefield
Museum Assistant (PT 22.5 hours per week)
Salary: £16,968 to £19,852 per annum

The Mental Health Museum (MHM) is a place for debate, not a shrine to the past.

Here at the MHM we believe in the power of our collections; objects and stories that represent varied and complex human experiences. Our collections cover the histories of the people, the places and the moments that have shaped mental health care in the UK.

Through coproduction with our communities the MHM aims to create opportunities for people to challenge their beliefs and perspectives. We encourage peoples’ physical, mental, spiritual and cultural reactions to our collections, and we see a responsibility to record and adopt these responses.

We are seeking to recruit an enthusiastic, dedicated and creative individual who will collaborate as part of the small museum team at the Fieldhead site in Wakefield. This is an opportunity to be part of the MHM’s important and powerful mission.

Our mission:

  • To promote understanding, empowerment and respect
  • To combat social inequality, prejudice, stigma and ignorance
  • To contribute towards breaking down the barriers to wellbeing

Our team is valued for who they are. Their empathy, knowledge, experiences, skills, culture and individuality are an inspiration not only to our communities, but to each other.

If you would like to apply for the Museum Assistant post and you are interested in discussing the role, please contact Cara Sutherland on 01924 316341/ 07876 396717 or email

Find out more and apply here.

Deadline: Thursday 19th October.

The Art House, Wakefield
Public Programme Producer
Full Time, Permanent
Salary: £20,000 – £22,000 per annum

The Art House is seeking a full-time Public Programme Producer to fulfil an exciting new role with our organisation, providing accessible artists studios and spaces for collaboration and exhibition, an established residency programme and on-going commissioning opportunities. The post holder will work closely with the programme team and partners to develop audiences and new projects supporting diverse artistic, critical and professional practice. They will be responsible for all aspects of development and delivery of our Public Programme, which include exhibitions, events and workshops. The role will require a capacity for strategic planning combined with a willingness to take a flexible, hands-on approach. The ideal candidate will have a strong background in the visual arts, effective communication and project management skills, and an interest in and ability to develop access in the arts.

For more details and how to apply please download the Job Description and application form here.

Deadline for applications: Friday 20th October.

Interviews are scheduled to take place on Wednesday 1st November.

Royal Armouries, Leeds
Education Assistant
Salary: £17,800 per annum

The Royal Armouries cares for one of the world’s oldest museum collections, housed at its headquarters and flagship museum in Leeds, its historic home at the Tower of London, and the Victorian Fort Nelson in Hampshire. We’re looking for a keen, committed educator to join our Education Team in Leeds as we develop new, exciting programmes to enrich and grow our formal learning audiences. In this post you will deliver a range of workshops to schools and other learners that bring our national, iconic and unique collection of arms and armour to life. 

The successful candidate will be a confident, adaptable and effective communicator, will have practical experience of delivering museum programmes to formal learners, and will be an enthusiastic learner too! 

To apply online click here.

Closing date: Sunday 22nd October.

Interviews: Thursday 9th November.

York Art Gallery and Yorkshire Museum
Visitor Experience Manager
Salary: £32,122 pa to £34,608 pa

These are exciting times to join the Trust on the back of our multi award winning redevelopment of York Art Gallery and with ambitious plans for the future.

The successful candidate will develop, lead and manage the delivery of excellent customer service, ensuring that our visitors have the best possible experience. You will require a relevant management qualification or equivalent experience in a similar role. In addition, excellent interpersonal, communication and influencing skills are essential for this post, together with experience of team leadership and line management of staff.

Access the job description and application form here on the About Us, Jobs Vacancies page.

Closing date for applications is 9 am on Monday 23 October.

Interviews will take place in York on Thursday 9 November.

Society for Museum Archaeology Annual Conference 2017

Thursday 2nd November – Friday 3rd November
Millennium Gallery, Sheffield

It’s not just about the archaeology – or is it?

When you work with archaeology in museums, you can end up doing a huge range of activities. Whether it be the delivery of exhibitions, engagement and events, or good old-fashioned collections management, what is the role of the modern museum archaeologist? 

This year’s conference is an opportunity to celebrate all things good…or bad…about what we do and how we do it!

For more information and to book a place click here.

Researching Digital Cultural Heritage 2-Day International Conference

Thursday 30th November – Friday 1st December
Manchester Museum

More than 50 speakers will offer a critical examination of established and emerging theoretical, methodological and analytical frameworks in researching cultural heritage spaces, objects, audiences and practices in the digital realm.

Keynotes by:

  • Dr Haidy Geismar, University College London
  • Professor Sarah Kenderdine, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

For provisional programme and to book a place click here.

Collection of the Artists: Symposium

Tuesday 21st November
Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

Buxton Museum and Art Gallery has a long tradition of working with and supporting artists. In the last two years, a major refurbishment of the Wonders of the Peak Gallery allowed artists to work closely with the collections. With support of the Heritage Lottery fund, three artists have been in residence: Amanda Johnson, a composer; Richard Johnson, a visual artist and Gordon MacLellan, a story teller and poet. They have supported a range of community engagement programmes at the museum and in the landscape.

With the support of an Arts Council England Grant for the Arts award, four more artists have created new work in response to the collection and the landscape. Their journeys of creativity and collaboration have raised awareness of both the great potential and the challenges that arise when the worlds of art, heritage and gallery development collide.

You are invited to join the Collection of the Artists for a day, to share and enrich your and our learning. 

To book your place click here.

IOP Public Engagement Grant Scheme 2017 Now Open

The Institute of Physics’ public engagement grant scheme provides up to £2,000 to individuals and organisations running physics-based events and activities in the UK and Ireland. The grant scheme has two rounds each year. The second round of the 2017 scheme is now open. This grant is for projects finishing before the end of July 2018.

We strongly recommend applicants get in touch with Emma Watson, outreach officer, to discuss ideas and ask questions before submission. You can get in touch by emailing

Find out more and download the guidance and application form hereTo find out more about projects we have previously funded click here.

Application deadline 12 noon on Friday 3rd November. 

Northern Museums Volunteer Pass Scheme

Museum Development North West

Delivered by the Museum Development teams in the North West, Yorkshire and the North East the Northern Museum Volunteer Pass Scheme is one of the largest schemes in England. Also known as the “Pink Pass” this scheme is open to all accredited museums, or those who have received official recognition of working towards accreditation, in the North West, North East and Yorkshire and Humberside region.

The Museum Volunteer Pass scheme is a mutually beneficial partnership between participating museums and entitles volunteers to free entry (and/or additional benefits where advertised) at participating museums in the region. A leaflet is produced annually listing all participating museums and the benefits at each institution for volunteers.

To be eligible to participate in the scheme museums must be able to offer a benefit to volunteer pass holders visiting from other museums. This may include:

  • Free entry to the museum
  • 10% discount in the shop and/or…

View original post 201 more words

Job Opportunities: Canal & River Trust

Visitor Services Manager
Salary £30,000

Job Purpose

The Canal & River Trust is one of the UK’s largest charities, we maintain 2,000 miles of historic canals, rivers, docks and reservoirs, along with museums, archives and the country’s third largest collection of protected historic buildings – preserving them for future generations.

We have an exciting opportunity for a Visitor Services Manager across two museum sites at Ellesmere Port & Gloucester. This position has been created to enhance our visitor experience across both sites, making our museums a must see attraction, acclaimed nationally and loved locally.

Knowledge, Skills/Qualifications & Experience

The Role:

  • Owning the visitor experience and ensuring staff and volunteers work as a team to deliver an unforgettable experience.
  • Managing the Front of House staff dealing with all visitors and admissions to the Museums, ensuring that staff and volunteers strive to achieve key operational objectives.
  • Managing the staff that operate the retail function at both sites and working closely with the commercial manager of stock purchase & control.
  • Maintain an overview of the presentation of the sites and the displays to the public and ensuring that any defects or issues are reported.
  • Undertaking a strategic approach and contributing to the forward planning and development of Visitor Services to meet the needs of the Museum.
  • Overseeing the recruitment of permanent and seasonal staff and volunteers and ensuring they are trained to carry out their duties efficiently and effectively.
  • Build a team spirit amongst the Front of House staff & volunteers through team meetings and appraisals to communicate targets & standards of performance expected.
  • Managing budgets relating to the Front of House operation.
  • To work with other staff to ensure that any events on site – public and private – are adequately supervised and catered for.
  • Be the main point of contact of strategic relationships with the Friends groups for both Museums.
  • Regularly monitor customer feedback and Visitor experience reports/assessments and ensure that working with the Management Team, necessary actions are taken to improve performance

Skills & Experience:

  • Educated to degree level or equivalent
  • Knowledge/experience of customer care and visitor services preferably in a museum context
  • Knowledge / experience of managing staff rotas over two sites
  • Successful track record in recruiting and developing volunteers
  • Knowledge of heritage and interpretation issues
  • Experience of managing staff and dealing with customers
  • Excellent Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Considerable people management and hands-on team leading experience including managing volunteers

What We Offer

In addition to your annual salary, car cash allowance, we can offer a competitive contributory DC Pension scheme arrangement, and numerous other employee benefits, including several salary sacrifice benefits.

We aim to represent the diverse communities we are part of and welcome applicants from across all sectors of the community. We strongly believe that a diverse workforce brings with it a diversity of ideas, thinking and ways of working which enhances what we do. 

When you join the Canal & River Trust you become a member of an engaged team working to preserve our heritage for future generations.  Come and put your skills to use on our waterways.

Find out more about the work we do on our website.

Events Co-ordinator
Salary – £19,000 pro rata

Job Purpose

The Canal & River Trust is one of the UK’s largest charities, we maintain 2,000 miles of historic canals, rivers, docks and reservoirs, along with museums, archives and the country’s third largest collection of protected historic buildings – preserving them for future generations.

We have an exciting opportunity for an Events Coordinator at the National Waterways Museum Ellesmere Port. The purpose of this role is to provide support to the Marketing & Communications function at the museum across two sites – Ellesmere Port and Gloucester – by providing coordination for the public events programme. The post is 29 hours per week Monday – Friday.

Working on a broad range of events from established boat festivals to new innovative ideas, you must have previous event organisational experience, be flexible, quick to adapt and comfortable with working on a range of tasks at the same time.

There will also be the opportunity to become involved in developing future events strategy for both Ellesmere Port & Gloucester.

Knowledge, Skills/Qualifications & Experience

The Role

  • Co-ordinate a range of events and activities across both sites promoting the museums and the Canal & River Trust
  • Event evaluation and reporting for visitor numbers
  • Design and print management for event and exhibition promotional materials
  • Assist the marketing function with wider marketing campaigns
  • Assisting the Communications Consultant in sourcing image rights
  • Copywriting
  • Assistance with event campaigns and other projects

Experience, skills and qualifications  


  • Relevant Degree or equivalent qualification/experience
  • Experiencing in managing digital communications
  • Ability to effectively manage a varied and evolving workload
  • Ability to work under pressure, to manage and prioritise own workload
  • Flexible and adaptable and able to work under pressure, to manage and prioritise workload
  • Good interpersonal skills with the ability to deal with staff, volunteers and customers
  • A positive team player
  • Proactive and dynamic
  • Creative and innovative


  • Relevant experience in an arts organisation and/or visitor attraction
  • Interest in canals and museums or visitor attractions
  • Previous experience of working in a similar events role

What We Offer

In addition to your annual salary, we can offer a competitive contributory DC Pension scheme arrangement, and numerous other employee benefits, including several salary sacrifice benefits.

We aim to represent the diverse communities we are part of and welcome applicants from across all sectors

of the community. We strongly believe that a diverse workforce brings with it a diversity of ideas, thinking and ways of working which enhances what we do.

When you join the Canal & River Trust you become a member of an engaged team working to preserve our heritage for future generations.  Come and put your skills to use on our waterways. 

Freelance Opportunity: Gallery Oldham

Freelance Museums & Schools Learning Assistant
Fee £12,000

The Freelance Museums & Schools Learning Assistant would be expected to;

  • Complete school bookings received by telephone and email
  • Book freelance artists and educators
  • Liaise with finance staff to raise invoices and purchase orders
  • Meet and greet schools coming to Gallery Oldham on visits and assist with signing in procedures
  • Take photographs of sessions where permissions have been obtained
  • Collate schools visitor figure data onto excel spreadsheet
  • Collate schools evaluation data
  • Create leaflets and posters where appropriate and check and replenish stock in house
  • Market schools offer via council First Class, Gallery Oldham website, social media platforms, print and conference stands
  • Assist with design of schools resources
  • Attend Team briefs to keep wider team up to date with school bookings
  • Assist learning staff in keeping the Education Suite tidy and ordering supplies
  • Any other administrative duties as required
  • Any other duties commensurate with level of responsibility

Essential Skills

  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Experience of Excel
  • Experience of Word
  • Experience of Publisher
  • Experience of Power point
  • Excellent communication skills verbally and in print

Desirable Skills

  • Experience of photography
  • Experience of social media
  • Experience of working in a busy office environment
  • Experience of working with schools

This is a six months, full time, freelancer position based at Gallery Oldham

Application is by submitting a CV and covering letter to Joy Thorpe by Sunday 22nd October.

Interviews will be held at Gallery Oldham on Monday 30th October.