Volunteer Showcase 2022

Volunteer Showcase 2022

Home / Support / SHARE Projects

Volunteer Showcase 2022

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.

Nominate Silver Owls here. 

Send us your Showcase examples here.



SHARE Mystery Shopper Scheme  – Project

SHARE Mystery Shopper Scheme – Project

Home / Support / SHARE Projects

SHARE Mystery Shopper Scheme – Project


Running since 2015, the scheme has been improved and developed. For 2022, our focus is on in-person visits. 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 or June with allocated visits taking place July – October.


Museums Involved with Mystery Shopping Scheme 

Braintree Museum
Chelmsford Museum
Cromwell Museum
Dunwich Museum

East Anglian Transport Museum
Ely Museum
Farmland Museum
Fitzwilliam Museum
Gressenhall Museum
Halesworth Museum
Higgins Bedford
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
Scott Polar Museum
Southend Museum Service
Stained Glass Museum
Stevenage 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.”

Creative Case for Diversity

Creative Case for Diversity

Home / Support / SHARE Projects

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.

Sign Up to SHARE e-News