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Valence House volunteers win British Museum Award

Valence house volunteers together in a groupTags Adults , Business , Children , Council , Family , Residents , Teenagers

Local volunteers providing a service to local residents have been rewarded for their hard work and dedication after scooping the Volunteers for Learning award at an online ceremony which took place yesterday, Wednesday 5 November.

The British Museum and the Marsh Christian Trust announced the winners of the volunteer awards which celebrated the work and achievements of museum volunteers across the UK for last year.

The ‘Volunteers for Museum Learning’ is part of a programme of awards presented by the Marsh Christian Trust in the fields of science, ecology, conservation, heritage, literature, and volunteering. Each award recognises individuals and organisations who devote their lives to improving the world. The awards recognise volunteers who engage directly with museum visitors in any capacity. This could involve leading a school group, staffing an information desk, helping with family activities, running a guided tour or any number of other ways in which volunteers provide support to museum visitors.

What a wonderful achievement for our volunteers at Valence House. I know that the events programme would not be possible without their hard work, dedication and unbounding enthusiasm and I know myself and all of the team at Valence House are thrilled that their invaluable contributions have been recognised with this award.

There are 18 volunteers at Valence House and they collectively were joint winners for the award for the London region. These worthy winners provide support in the preparation, funding and delivery of the events programme for children, adults and families, from cutting out thousands of snowflakes, decorating Father Christmas’s grotto, to sewing caveman outfits for a prehistory festival. Never ones to shy away from getting covered in glitter, glue, clay or even slime, they throw themselves into helping families build Viking longboats, helping children wash animal bones in the museum store, testing out their acting chops as murder mystery suspects and sculpting hundreds of ancient poos for dissection and analysis, to name but a few!

The financial support they provide is also invaluable in ensuring that events are affordable and accessible to the local community. They raise money running raffles, hosting quiz evenings, and setting up stalls at events where they sell what they have baked, knitted and crafted. 

Councillor Saima Ashraf, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Leadership and Engagement said: “What a wonderful achievement for our volunteers at Valence House. I know that the events programme would not be possible without their hard work, dedication and unbounding enthusiasm and I know myself and all of the team at Valence House are thrilled that their invaluable contributions have been recognised with this award.”

Sir Richard Lambert, Chairman of the Trustees at the British Museum said “Museums across the UK rely on the contribution of volunteers to ensure their collections reach and inspire as many people as possible. The efforts of volunteers up and down the country in 2019 are an inspiration as we all continue to navigate the challenges presented to us all in 2020. The Marsh Volunteer Awards recognise the commitment and enthusiasm of volunteers in museums and we are very grateful to the Marsh Christian Trust for acknowledging this work.”

The winners will receive a cash prize of £500, donated by the Marsh Christian Trust.

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