Volunteers at the Novium Museum

Novium logo“The difference that volunteers make in the museum is the difference between a visitor having a good visit and a brilliant one. We are lucky to attract diverse range of people who volunteer in every aspect of the museum from guiding to sorting archaeology to handing out leaflets.  The museum is very grateful for the time and effort people contribute, they transform it from a building with a collection of old objects to a place which is cared for and where local stories are shared and bought alive.

Peter approached the museum to help with guiding 2 years ago with plenty of experience in volunteering in other museum and heritage sites leading tours and speaking with visitors. He is the longest-serving guide at The Novium museum and has gathered lots of information about local history and the museum visitors. Peter has become the go-to guide for new volunteers to shadow tours and see how it’s done.

Lorna came to the museum with a vast amount of experience as a librarian and after some initial training in tour guiding and getting to know the museum’s collection she couldn’t wait to get stuck into to reorganising the publicly accessible collection of books at the museum. After meeting with museum staff, Lorna came up with a plan aiming to make the collection easier to use for visitors and encourage people to browse the books and delve deeper into local history. Although a slow process, each week the library area is evolving and gradually becoming more accessible as a place to research and discover more.

The learning programme involves lots of contact with schools but also plenty of other projects too. Every Friday, Asha comes to the museum to help with any new creative plan of action there is for the learning programme. She helps with gathering stories about objects for school loans boxes, designing activities for children to do in the galleries, creating ideas for children’s parties and plenty of other child focused ideas. Asha started volunteering at the museum the summer it opened and over the past 3 years has helped teachers, families and children have a great educational and enjoyable time at the museum.

The museum has around half a million objects all with stories, letters and paperwork which all need lots of work to research, catalogue and maintain the records.  Pat has been volunteering with the museum for close to 10 years and has done a huge amount of cataloguing and transcribing work during that time. She has been part of the museum move from its old location in Little London and move into the brand new building. Pat has a vast amount of local historical knowledge and even when the tasks can be time-consuming and tedious she gives them her full care and attention.

Each week many volunteers help at the museum and although only a few have been mentioned, we are extremely thankful for each individual who gives their time, effort and commitment to making the museum a special place to visit.”

Catherine Coleman
Learning & Participation Officer
The Novium, Chichester

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