This we week we were delighted to welcome our collections volunteers back to Woodhorn Museum. During the pandemic the volunteers worked remotely on a series of collections-based tasks as we embarked on our exciting collections project. From Femmer to Firmer, funded by the Museums Association’s Esmée Fairbairn Foundation Fund, will enable us to carry out a collections review that will inform our new collections development policy.
The pandemic had a major impact on our ways of working with volunteers. We wanted to encourage our volunteers to think about their own mental health and wellbeing during these challenging times and reflect on how we can support them with any challenges faced in working from home.
Before we started moving to remote working, we engaged with the Warwick and Edinburgh mental health and wellbeing scales survey, used by the Museums Northumberland bait team. Lisa Blaney, Arts for Wellbeing Manager provided useful techniques for coping during the pandemic and discussed ways which we can use them daily to reduce impact on mental health.
Although we are back onsite now, we plan to continue to use the Warwick and Edinburgh mental health and wellbeing scales to collect data for the two-and-a-half-year period the From Femmer to Firmer project will run for.
Earlier in the week, the volunteers began auditing objects in one of our strong rooms on site at Woodhorn Museum. Things are still a little different as we are working within the Covid guidelines, but they haven’t stopped us working hard. This is what Chloe and Maurice had to say about coming back,
“It is really fantastic to be able to volunteer again onsite and be handling the collections. It is refreshing to learn new skills. I feel like I am continually gaining new knowledge and skills”
“It is great to be able to return and volunteer onsite. A great opportunity to build and develop skills in areas I am keen to pursue further”
Find out more about the From Femmer to Firmer project. If you are keen to volunteer with us, or would like to know about volunteering, please email firstname.lastname@example.org