SHARE Mystery Shopper Scheme  – Project

SHARE Mystery Shopper Scheme – Project

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SHARE Mystery Shopper Scheme – Project


Running since 2015, the scheme has been improved and developed. For 2021, we have introduced the alternative option of digital visiting in the mode of Museum from Home. Participating museums benefit from an objective assessment of their visitor experience and design  which can help drive and implement improvements. It also provides excellent opportunities for CPD for staff and volunteers. The nature of the scheme means that museums can access this support  at very low cost, significantly cheaper than through commercial mystery shopping services. All Accredited  and WTA museums in the East are eligible to participate. Each museum will provide a lead to be responsible for the scheme within the organisation and at least two volunteers and/ or staff members who will be asked to undertake visits to other museums. Training sessions usually happen each year in May with allocated visits taking place June- October.


Museums Involved with Mystery Shopping Scheme 

Braintree Museum
Chelmsford Museum
Cromwell Museum
Ely Museum
Fitzwilliam Museum
Gressenhall Museum
Halesworth Museum
John Bunyan Museum
Longshop Museum
Museum of London & Museum of London Docklands
Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell
Natural History Museum at Tring
Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery
Palace House
Ridgmont Station
Roman Baths and Mill Green Mill & Museum
Stained Glass Museum
Verulamium Museum
Whittlesey Museum


Comments from participants about Mystery Shopping

“The scheme was useful as it encouraged me to see museums from the viewpoint of a visitor. The focus then proved useful in work back at my own museum. I gained useful ideas from seeing how other museums set up exhibitions and also dealt with the issues we face at our own venue.”

“The visits this year have really highlighted the impact and value of the greeting and personal reception on arrival at a museum.”

“Great opportunity to look at what we do and how we do it through ‘new eyes’. Chance for our shoppers to be more aware of customer service – as a new visitor services team, we were able to use this as a form of training, sharing experiences in team meetings.”

“The feedback form other museums who have visited us is really useful. It has highlighted some issues we were already aware of, e.g. lack of some signposting to the shop/ Reception.”

SHARE Mystery Shopper Scheme  – Project

Diversify Your Income Programme

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Diversify Your Income Programme

 SHARE is offering 6 museums in the region a two-strand support programme this Autumn. It will provide coaching and training to help you to launch new income streams.

 Twelve museums in all from both our region and the East Midlands can participate in an intensive programme which provides hands-on support with income diversification projects.  By joining with the East Midlands region we will be able to pair museums up with others of a similar size in some sessions and enable you to network more widely than usual.


How can you participate in this programme?

If you would like to find out more,  then please see the links below for a programme outline and an expression of interest form.  Expressions of interest need to be with us by 16 July 2021.  Priority will be given to museums in  the Accreditation scheme which are not NPOs, but others may also apply.

Diversify Your Income programme outline   

          Income Diversification SHARE EOI.


Volunteer Awards 2020 – thank you

Volunteer Awards 2020 – thank you

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Volunteer Awards 2020 – thank you

It’s been a blast, but we wanted to say…

We could not be more proud to celebrate…


All the Winners

Outstanding Young Person 

Stevie-Louise Leg,   British Schools Museum,   Hertfordshire 

Exhibition Team,     Wisbech & Fenland Museum,    Cambridgeshire


True Grit Award

Mill Maintenance Team,     Burwell Museum & Windmill,   Cambridgeshire

Richard Rackstraw,    Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse,      Norfolk



Phil Jackson,    American Air Museum/IWM,  Cambridgeshire, IWM Duxford 

Stories From The Gordon Craig Volunteer Team,   Stevenage Museum,    Hertfordshire


Through the door 

Colin Browne,   Lowestoft Maritime Museum,  Suffolk

Bridging Binaries Team,  The Fitzwilliam Museum,  Cambridgeshire



Nicholas Skinner,    Brightlingsea Museum,    Essex

Board of Trustees,     Cromwell Museum,    Cambridgeshire


Judges Special Award

Ann Barrett,    Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome,    Essex

Silver Owl Award: celebrating 25 years of volunteering

Cathy Moorehouse,    The Higgins,     Bedfordshire

Marian Harrington,   The Higgins,    Bedfordshire

Peter Vine,    Bressingham Steam Museum,    Norfolk

Paul Hawes,    Burwell Museum & Windmill,     Cambridgeshire

John Wisbey,     Burwell Museum & Windmill,     Cambridgeshire

Bob Markham,    Colchester & Ipswich Museum Service,   Suffolk

Mike Rouse,  Ely Museum,   Cambridgeshire

Derek Jennings,    Fakenham Museum of Gas & Local History,     Norfolk

Jill Frid,    Felbrigg Hall (National Trust),      Norfolk

Graham Frid,    Felbrigg Hall (National Trust),      Norfolk

Tony Tompkins,    Forncett Industrial Steam Museum,     Norfolk

Jane Francis,   Forncett Industrial Steam Museum,   Norfolk

Derek Manning,     Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse,     Norfolk

Brian Holmes,     Halesworth and District Museum,    Suffolk

Jean Goldsmith,     John Bunyan Museum,    Bedfordshire

Elaine Nason,    Laxfield & District Museum,    Suffolk

Irene Ashman,    Lowestoft Museum,    Suffolk

Ron Ashman,    Lowestoft Museum,   Suffolk

Paul Durbidge,    Lowestoft Museum,    Suffolk

Alan Walker,     Museum of Power,     Essex

Ivan Last,       Norfolk & Suffolk Aviation Museum,     Suffolk

Jenny Day,     Saffron Walden Museum,    Essex

Ken Harvey,     Sedgwick Museum Of Earth Science,  Cambridgeshire

Ken May,     The Long Shop Museum,      Suffolk

The Earl of Cranbrook,    The Long Shop Museum,    Suffolk

Dorothy Halfhide,      Thorney Heritage Museum,     Cambridgeshire

Madeleine Johnson,      Wisbech & Fenland Museum,     Cambridgeshire

True Grit nominees: recognising those battling against difficulties and continuing despite the odds!

Natural Science Volunteers,    Colchester & Ipswich Museum Service,    Essex

Public Engagement Team,   Dacorum Heritage Trust,  Hertfordshire

Peter Bateman, Gainsborough’s House,   Suffolk

Bill and Sue Rhodes,   Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse,    Norfolk

Rose Weller,   Mid Suffolk Light Railway Museum,   Suffolk

Animal Care Team,   Museum of East Anglian Life,   Suffolk

Graham Wood,   Museum of Power,  Essex

Vic Mead,   North Hertfordshire Museum,   Hertfordshire

Ian Sharpe,   Saffron Walden Museum,     Essex

The Pickling Project Team, St Albans Museum & Gallery, Hertfordshire

Ann Barrett,    Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome,    Essex

Connor Fludgate,    Wisbech & Fenland Museum,   Cambridgeshire

Through the Door nominees: recognising those who have made the museum relevant for a new group of people.

Angela Wilding,  The Fitzwilliam Museum,   Cambridgeshire

Chris & Tom Harffey,   Colchester & Ipswich Museum Service,   Essex

Volunteer Support Team,    Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse,    Norfolk

Chrissie O’Connor,   Museum of East Anglian Life,  Suffolk

Power Of Friendship Club Team,  Museum of Power,   Essex

Outstanding Young Volunteer nominees: recognising those who have made a strong contribution to the museum.

Edward Mcglinchey,   Colchester & Ipswich Museum Service,    Essex

Eloise Slade,  Felbrigg Hall (National Trust),  Norfolk

Aaron Weller,   Mid Suffolk Light Railway Museum,   Suffolk 

Luke Steed,    Museum of East Anglian Life,   Suffolk

Gabrielle Copeman,   Museum of Norwich,   Norfolk

Lucas Chaplin,   Museum of Power,    Essex

Sabrina Ki,    Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery,    Norfolk

Elliott Cowie,    Sedgwick Museum Of Earth Science,   Cambridgeshire

May Thompson,   Strangers Hall,   Norfolk

Emily Reach,   Wisbech & Fenland Museum,   Cambridgeshire

Trustee nominees: recognising outstanding contributions from Trustees (or unpaid governors)

Harry Yates,      Fakenham Museum of Gas & Local History,     Norfolk

Board of Trustees,      Wisbech & Fenland Museum,    Cambridgeshire

Digital Volunteering nominees: recognising those excelling in all things digital!

Peter Knott,    Colchester & Ipswich Museum Service,    Essex

Sarah Darnell,   Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse,  Norfolk

More Than Oliver Twist Research Team,  Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse, Norfolk

Steven Gridley,  Maldon Museum,   Essex

Search For The Stars Team, Museum of East Anglian Life,   Suffolk

Creative Case for Diversity

Creative Case for Diversity

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Creative Case for Diversity

What is it?

The Arts Council outlines the Creative Case for Diversity as follows:

Our mission is great art and culture for everyone – we can only achieve this if we make a commitment to promoting and embedding diversity throughout the work we fund and support. We call this the ‘Creative Case for Diversity’.

The Creative Case for Diversity is a way of exploring how organisations and artists can enrich the work they do by embracing a wide range of diverse influences and practices. We believe that embracing the Creative Case will also help organisations address other challenges and opportunities in audience development, public engagement, workforce and leadership.

What it isn’t 

  • About meeting Equality legislation
  • Solely community engagement
  • Workforce diversification

What does it mean for museums?

  • Collections and Collecting
  • Programming – exhibitions and events
  • Embedding it in all aspects of work

Regional Case Studies

Looking for inspiration and ideas for how to embed this approach in your museum? Want some practical examples of how to fund and kick-start a project? Click on the links below to read more about some of the projects our museums and networks across the region have developed…

WHO LIVED IN MY HOUSE? Project looking at the lives of working class families in Letchworth. Click here for case study

WOMEN ON THE FRONT LINE Collections research project addressing the under-representation of women’s stories. Click here for case study.

BRICKWORKS MEMORIES REDISCOVERED Community collecting project focused on reflecting the diverse the communities and their contribution to Bedford. Click here for case study.


To read more about the Arts Council’s definition of Creative Case for Diversity, including UK case studies, click here.

Regional Strategy for Emergency Planning

Regional Strategy for Emergency Planning

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Regional Strategy for Emergency Planning

We are looking for a freelancer to help us move towards creating a Regional Strategy for Emergency Planning.


Download the project brief for details on how to tender for this project.





Mystery Shopping Scheme

Mystery Shopping Scheme

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Mystery Shopping Scheme

A good visitor experience is absolutely vital to museums and their public facing mission, as well as supporting their ability to generate income in uncertain times.

Now in its 6th year, our Mystery Shopper scheme is open to participants for 2019.

The scheme allows museums to benefit from an objective assessment of their visitor experience – and so design and implement improvements.

The reciprocal nature of the scheme means that museums can access this support significantly cheaper than through commercial mystery shopping services. We are also able to tailor the scheme specifically to the needs of museums.

Which museums are eligible?
Any Accredited museum in the East is eligible.

How will the scheme work?
SHARE will be recruiting museums from around the region to take part. Each museum will provide a Museum Lead to be responsible for the scheme within their organisation and at least two volunteers and/ or staff members who will be asked to undertake visits to other museums. To book a slot on one of our training days, follow the links below.

To book a place on Friday 17 May click here

To book a place on Saturday 18 May click here

Please register your interest in the scheme by April 31 2019 by contacting Sarah Coleman or  Kathy Moore. We can also help with queries

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