Prestigious award for volunteer at Alnwick museum

Jane Mann receiving the Individual Volunteer of the Year Award at the Museums + Heritage Awards.
Jane Mann receiving the Individual Volunteer of the Year Award at the Museums + Heritage Awards.

A volunteer at the Bailiffgate Museum in Alnwick has won a top award at a prestigious event for the museums sector.

However, while Jane Mann landed the Individual Volunteer of the Year Award at last week’s Museums + Heritage Awards, she insists that the prize is really a reflection of the efforts of the museum’s entire volunteer community.

Plus, being part of the event, a glitzy do in central London featuring the likes of the British Museum, the National Museum of Scotland and the National Trust, really puts Bailiffgate on the map.

“I’m really pleased for myself and really pleased for the museum because it gives us a high profile,” said Jane.

“I was surprised because I didn’t expect it and it was a big night.

“It’s good that the museum is operating in that type of league.”

She emphasised that the prize was the result of a team effort.

“The museum is run almost entirely by volunteers so I regard the award as one for the whole museum community to share in, because everyone who’s a volunteer there does a lot.”

The judges’ citation stated that Jane, who was a joint winner with Aaron Lee, from the Museum of Oxford, received the award for ‘demonstrating real commitment in a time of crisis’.

Jane explained that this relates to a museum employee leaving just before a major project came to fruition, which required others to step into finish the job.

“I was chairing the group, but it wasn’t just me. Everyone worked really hard,” she said.

The cost of travel, tickets to the award ceremony and accommodation for Jane and one other volunteer were funded by a Workforce Development Grant from Museum Development North East.