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During 2011-2012 Terri of WHConservation was employed by Leicestershire County Council's Museum Service to organise and manage many aspects of a pioneering partnership involving three independent museums in Loughborough; The Great Central Railway; The Carillon War Memorial and The Old Rectory. Each museum was distinct in its own right but all had the collective aim of wanting to improve the organisation, care and maintenance of their collections. Focussed volunteer recruitment, specialised volunteer management, professional training and development and continued support from key partners made this initiative a huge success.

 

 

Terri in partnership with volunteer managers from each museum successfully aided in recruiting a pool of volunteers from a diverse and varied background within the Loughborough area. In total approximately 25 volunteers expressed an interest in wanting to provide support within their local museums. After this initial recruitment a comprehensive training programme was formed to enable volunteers to fulfil all necessary roles; training on museum collections management system 'Modes'; many aspects of museum and general object management; care of collections; labelling; correct museum documentation; photography and much more. Once the training period had been completed and volunteers felt confident, Terri then supported the volunteers during weekly sessions at each museum. These sessions saw the newly learnt skills put into action. After only a few months the progress within each museum was astounding.

 

Terri training volunteers in the use of MODES at Diseworth Heritage Centre

 

Volunteers, armed with their newly acquired skills and experience in recording and documentation of museum objects shared their knowledge with other volunteers in the local area. Diseworth Heritage Centre received training from Terri and a select group of the Loughborough volunteers. This started a network of support across the county which we found to be an extremely valuable asset for these like-minded independent museum. 

 

Due to the success of the project Terri put together an application for the Leicestershire and Rutland Heritage Awards  2012. For our collective efforts all three museums and their incredibly dedicated, newly formed volunteer teams won 'The Care and Development of Collections Award' for that year, beating some very strong competition.  

 

You can read testimonials about Terri's work on this project, from Diseworth Heritage Trust, and Leicestershire County Council on our Testimonials page.

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Collections & Conservation Manager

Leicestershire County Council

 

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