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Marsh Award for Museum Learning Volunteers Winners!

Marsh Award for Museum Learning Volunteers Winners!

Marsh Award for Museum Learning Volunteers.

l-r Tony Green, Mike Wyles, Clare Barnes (Education Officer), Alan Copsey, Roger Hyson and Matt Coumbe

We are delighted to report that a team of seven of our volunteers have won the South East regional prize in the prestigious Marsh Award for Museum Learning Volunteers. Congratulations to Alan Copsey, Matt Coumbe, Joy Dunn, Tony Green, Roger Hyson, Paul Nials and Mike Wyles.


The judges from the British Museum and Marsh Christian Trust recognised their transformative impact on the learning programme in relation to science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) both at the museum and on outreach visits. They are committed to engaging visitors of all ages with STEM topics relating to King Henry VIII’s warship, Mary Rose, as well as her excavation and on-going conservation. As a team they have expertise in a wide variety of areas including: science teaching, teacher training, medicine, chemistry and archaeology. They have also recruited and mentored new volunteers to further diversify the team.


Outside the British Museum

The group has worked alongside the professional team to develop completely new areas of work for the Learning Department, including practical maths for primary children, biology workshops for secondary and A Level students and sessions for science teacher training students. The group has made an enormous difference to the museum by enhancing visits for those whose interests may lie outside Tudor and maritime history.  Without this group, the learning programme would be far narrower in scope and we would be unable to deliver such an extensive STEM learning programme inside and outside the museum. Their expertise is invaluable. Over the last year, new programmes which they have helped shape, have been embedded into the work of the Department.

Five of the seven volunteers and Clare Barnes, Learning Officer, attended the award ceremony at the British Museum. The stories from across the UK were incredible and demonstrated the amazing work that it being done by volunteers in a wide variety of museum learning fields. The team have won a prize of £500 which they have generously donated to the education department for new equipment to support the STEM programme.


Their contribution is appreciated at the very highest level at the Mary Rose Trust.  John Lippiett, Chief Executive, said: “The volunteer input into our Learning programme is an essential ingredient of a brilliant variety of lessons and talks at every level. The volunteers bring to the fore their long experience, great knowledge, and sense of humour, to enlighten and enliven all the sessions. STEM subjects come alive in their capable hands, and the recipients leave with their head full of new thoughts and with smiles on their faces. This is innovative museum education at its very best, thanks to a great team.”


Mary Kinoulty, Head of Learning said: ‘The seven volunteers listed in this application are passionate about sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm with schools, colleges, teacher training students and the general public. Together we love to share new ideas and make plans for new STEM ventures.  Our next project is a primary maths challenge day in conjunction with Education Business Partnership South. STEM Volunteers will be integral to this day.’


Feedback from teachers and students is always highly appreciative and recognises the extraordinary calibre of this group: “It has been a brilliant day with a superb level of teaching and guiding. The children and members of staff had a wonderful day. The children were riveted throughout the sessions.” Teacher “It was fab! Challenging sometimes but by the end, I got a better understanding”. Year 9 pupil, Portsmouth


We are very proud of these members of the team who contribute so much to the museum and, in particular, the learning department.

The British Museum and the Marsh Christian Trust have been working in partnership for the seventh year for the ‘Volunteers for Museum Learning’ award which recognises the hugely valuable contribution that volunteers make in helping museums engage with their visitors. The ‘Volunteers for Museum Learning’ award forms part of a programme of awards presented by the Marsh Christian Trust in the fields of science, ecology, conservation, heritage, literature and volunteering. Each one of these awards recognises individuals and organisations who devote their lives to improving the world today and the world in the future. http://www.marshchristiantrust.org/

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