This year, we hope to thank all our volunteers and celebrate volunteering in a slightly different way to the usual awards scheme. This is in recognition of the fact that the past few years have hit volunteering hard.
We have reduced the number of ‘Award’ categories to just the Silver Owl, and instead, we will feature all of your Showcase examples both on our website, and at the SHARE conference in November. The conference theme will be developed to support the theme of volunteering in our museums.
As previously, Silver Owl awards are for volunteers who are still with their museum 25 years after they started. (Please be generous in your interpretation of this; for example do not worry if they have not been able to volunteer due to Covid). All Silver Owl nominees will be awarded a Silver Owl badge and a certificate.
For the Showcase examples we are asking you for examples of volunteer activities at your museum. We are hoping for examples of different areas of volunteer work, so we are encouraging you to base your example around one of these topics:
- Digital Museum: Examples of this might be for setting up, or operating the museum’s social media accounts, keeping the website up-to- date, or working on digital museum projects.
- Outstanding Young Volunteers: For under 25s who have excelled in their volunteer role and made a strong contribution to the museum.
- Engaging Audiences: Volunteer work which has made the museum appealing and accessible. Examples might be adapting services for meet new needs of new or previous audiences, or people with specific needs.
- Collections and Site: volunteering work with your collections. This might include accessioned collections, handling collections, gardens and landscape, buildings or livestock.
- Good Governance: Trustees are volunteers too, and we want to recognise their work as part of this showcase. Leading and inspiring their teams in different way.
- Advocacy: Volunteers have a role outside the museum itself, advocating for the museum and generating new interest, income or activity.
- Other theme of your choice
Two of the museums entering Showcase examples will be rewarded with a £300 grant from SHARE to spend on the welfare of their volunteers. We are hoping to see examples of lots of good practice. There is no specific criteria for these grants but we hope it will provide some extra encouragement to send us your examples.
We will invite you, your Silver Owls and a representative of your example volunteering team to join us in Ely on Thursday 10 November.
This is for lunch at the conference, and to join in for the post lunch session and Awards presentation.
We hope you will also make time to enjoy your free entry tickets to Ely Museum and Ely Stained Glass Museum on the day.
All Award nominations and Volunteering examples must be received by 16 August 2022.
Nominations and examples are welcome from all museums within the Arts Council England Accreditation scheme.