Marsh Volunteers for Museum Learning Award

2013 - The Family Learning Volunteers, Museum of London & The Herb Garden Volunteers, Bede's World

Family Learning Volunteers - Museum of London Archaeological Archives

The Family Learning Volunteers are a team of volunteers who were recruited by the Museum of London's Archaeological Archive to develop and deliver an educational programme for children under five years old.

The team have helped create sessions based around the adventures of Marti the Mouse, a puppet used as the central character of several events. Workshops have included writing and literature, artwork, music, and food and dining, allowing children and families to directly interact with objects from the Museum's collection. The volunteers have put in extensive work into delivering workshops. They are creative, enthusiastic and make sessions entertaining, demonstrating their passion for history and learning.

The work of the volunteers has enabled the Archives to reach a new audience and the feedback from the families and children has been excellent.

Herb Garden Volunteers – Bede’s World, Jarrow, Tyne and Wear

The Herb Garden at Bede's World has been designed, maintained and developed by the same group of volunteers for the past 12 years. Ian and Margaret Jones; Margaret Gooderham; Ann and Graham Cook; Brenda Fraser; Barbara Stocker; Pat Kerr and John Woodhurst have created a space at Bede's World that is beautiful, tranquil and informative.

The Herb Garden is well laid out, all herbs are labelled and the garden is easy to navigate, even for less mobile visitors. All of this work and maintenance is undertaken by the group. They even contribute tools, timber for fencing and other resources through their fundraising efforts. The volunteers produce information booklets on the herbs and their uses, both in the past and present, and give talks and guided tours to visitors and staff. Kitchen staff is encouraged to use the herbs in recipes for the Café and the garden has attracted a wide variety of wildlife.

The museum has a vibrant, living example of history and how our ancestors used natural resources. The volunteers represent Bede's World at external organisations, giving talks and advising others on developing herb gardens. This all contributes to raising the museum's profile and reputation as a learning and teaching organisation.

The 2013 Regional winners were

Wales - Archive and Library Volunteers, Pontypool Museum
Scotland - Museums Alive Volunteers, Edinburgh Museums and Galleries
North West - Nigel Meyrick, Grosvenor Museum, Chester
North East - Herb Garden Volunteers, Bede’s World, Tyne & Wear
The Millers at Sarehole Mill, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (joint winner)
Peter Gilbert, Erasmus Darwin House, Lichfield (joint winner)
Yorkshire - Adult Tour Volunteer Guides, Ripon Museum Trust
South West/East - Roy Calthorpe, Battle Museum of Local History
London - Family Learning Volunteers, Museum of London Archaeological Archives
Northern Ireland -Joni Wilson and Ann Mayne, Carrickfergus Museum and Civic Centre

Pictured above:
Top - The Family Learning Volunteers, Museum of London
Below - The Herb Garden Volunteers at Bede's World


The British Museum
Great Russell Street