Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service awarded to West Highland Museum

The West Highland Museum is very pleased to announce that we have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award given to charitable organisations.  It is the equivalent of an MBE for volunteering.

Volunteers have been at the heart of West Highland Museum activities since it was founded almost 100 years ago.  However, over the past decade volunteers have made an even more important contribution to the running of the museum when free entry to the museum was introduced in 2011 to increase visitor engagement.  Over this period our visitor numbers rose from 9,000 – 60,800.  Volunteers have been core to our success and deliver core services at every level of the museum operations, from greeting visitors, to governance, to assisting with curation, DIY, and providing learning activities.

Ian Peter Macdonald, Chair of the Board of the West Highland Museum Trust said “The West Highland Museum are delighted that the value of their volunteers has been recognised for a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.  The volunteers who support our museum range from board members to acknowledged experts who give their time and intellect freely. The bulk of our volunteers are local enthusiasts who welcome the visitor to the museum with pride, knowledge and a generous smile. The museum provides a stimulating activity for an often, retired community where they enjoy their companionship with their colleagues, enjoy engaging with the visitor and where they can enjoy learning a little more every day.”

Perth Museum trip 2019 – Morag MacNeil Christine Hutchison Irving Nixon Jenny Beattie Sonja McLachlan Colleen Barker John Bruce David MacFarlane Vanessa Martin Betty Bruce & Alan Kirk

Coinciding with Volunteers’ Week, the Queen’s Award recognises that volunteers have been vital throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and will continue to be as the country emerges from lockdown.  Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration for the UK to recognise those who have dedicated their time to support their local community, both through the pandemic, and over many years.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Independent Committee Chair Sir Martyn Lewis, said the awards “highlight the growing and key role which volunteers are playing in times of rapid change and unprecedented challenges. Whether driven by a neighbourly passion to help others or to achieve that well recognised “high” of personal satisfaction, volunteering taps into a rich spirit of generosity, ingenuity and kindness. The Queen’s Award’s judges are proud to honour the achievements of those who help to make our country great.”

Minister for Civil Society, Baroness Barran said, “I’m extremely grateful for the work being carried out by volunteers across the country, and this prestigious award is extremely well deserved. I’d like to congratulate all of the winners, and thank them for the dedication to their communities.”

Volunteers are essential to the success of the West Highland Museum.  Due to the impact of COVID-19 our volunteer numbers have halved since 2019.  If you would like to join our dynamic volunteer team, please contact Sonja on 01397 702169 for an informal chat, or email us on info@westhighlandmuseum.org.uk 

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