Announcement of the winners of the 2012 Marsh Volunteer Awards

The British Museum and the Marsh Christian Trust announce the winners of 2012 volunteer awards celebrating the work and achievements of museum volunteers.

The British Museum and the Marsh Christian Trust have been working in partnership for the fifth 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. The Marsh awards programme is managed in association with key partners including the Zoological Society of London, English Heritage, Barnardo’s, the Refugee Council and the British Museum.

The aim of the ‘Volunteers for Museum Learning’ award is to recognise those volunteers who work 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 such excellent service to museum visitors.

There were a large number of applications from across the UK, some from groups of volunteers and some from individuals. The judges consisted of staff from the Marsh Trust, staff and volunteers from the British Museum and a representative from another museum. The British Museum is delighted to host the awards, being very aware of the crucial contribution volunteers make to the well-being of the Museum and its enjoyment by the public.

Due to the British Museum’s involvement in the ceremony and judging, volunteers from the British Museum were ineligible for the awards. However this year a new award has been introduced to recognise the contribution and dedication of long-serving volunteers at the British Museum, the Marsh Christian Trust Volunteer Award for Long-Term Commitment.

Joanna Mackle, Deputy Director of the British Museum said “Museums large and small are reliant on the contribution volunteers make to ensure the smooth and successful running of their organisation. The Marsh Awards recognise the vital work that volunteers do in museums across the country and we are very grateful to the Marsh Christian Trust for acknowledging this work and inaugurating the award for Long-Term Commitment”.

The winners will each receive a cash prize of £500, donated by the Marsh Christian Trust. There is usually one overall winner who receives an additional £2,000, but this year due to the extremely high standard of applicants the prize was shared by two organisations.

The list of winners for Volunteers for Museum Learning


Eilidh Lawrence, Scottish Fisheries Museum, Anstruther

North West

Irving Czechowicz, The Manchester Museum

North East

Stephanie Sutherland Bramley, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead


Morgan Jones, Compton Verney


The Barley Hall Servants, Barley Hall, York

South West

Secret Splendours’ Volunteers Team, The Holburne Museum, Bath (joint winner)
The Young Explainers Team, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery (joint winner)

East of England

Young Events Volunteers, Norwich Castle


Mrs Erene Grieve, British Postal Museum and Archive

South East

Normandy Veterans Society, D-Day Museum, Portsmouth

Northern Ireland and Wales

Nathan Lightowler, Railway Preservation Society of Ireland

National Winners

Nathan Lightowler, Railway Preservation Society of Ireland (joint winner)
Mrs Erene Grieve, British Postal Museum and Archive, London (joint winner)

The winner for the Marsh Christian Trust Volunteer Award for Long-Term Commitment (awarded posthumously)

Gordon Howes, British Museum
Gordon volunteered at the British Museum for around 17 years as a tour guide. He sadly passed away earlier this year and the award was collected by a member of his family.

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