Volunteer Development

MDUK Volunteer Development Programme 2021

Museum Development UK is thrilled to be working in collaboration with volunteer sector specialists 10GM to offer an intensive Volunteer Development Programme for up to 20 museums from across participating areas in the UK.

This project has arisen due to the dual challenges of a longer-term shifting volunteering workforce in the heritage sector, and the particular strains of the last 12 months due to the pandemic. Through the Museum Development (MD) Annual Museums Survey results and, localised surveying through regional teams, and the results of the Spotlight survey in Wales, a clear need has emerged to support organisations to review their operating models to ensure volunteering is sustainable and responsive to the museums needs and the communities they serve.

The aim of the programme is to support participating museums to review their volunteering strategy and explore new ways to embed sustainable volunteer development practice tailored to individual organisational needs. At the end of the programme, participating museums will:

  • review their operating model and business/ forward plan through the lens of volunteer resourcing
  • understand the volunteer skills needed to deliver their operating model
  • plan to develop their volunteer workforce through appropriate recruitment, training and resources to meet defined organisational needs
  • develop appropriate volunteer policies and procedures
  • identify volunteer management roles and responsibilities within the workforce
  • embed inclusive practice into volunteer development
  • develop an organisation specific action plan for volunteer development.

The intensive programme will allow 20 organisations from across the 5 participating areas (Wales, North West, North East, West Midlands and the East Midlands) to benefit from hands on support developing their volunteering practices, including:

  • Group sessions: thematic and supportive sessions with peers; to share and discuss issues concerning volunteer involvement and management, and to support progression through the programme
  • Coaching: each participant will access to tailored coaching sessions with an expert in volunteer development from across the volunteering sector.
  • Network building: support and advice between group sessions allowing participants to share successes and challenges and build a supportive network across the UK.
  • Training: a programme of three online training workshops on specific topics around:
    • Developing volunteering practice, including plans, policies and procedures
    • Developing a volunteering strategy
    • Inclusive recruitment of volunteers

The training will have spaces reserved for all participating organisations, and we encourage museums to sign up for the sessions most relevant to their action plans.

Key programme dates:

The programme will run from October 2021 to March 2022, with an expected time-commitment of 2-3 days per month.

Additional work will be required to apply learning between sessions; and an illustration of some key dates concerning the programme are as follows:

October 19 2021 Group Session One
November 18 2021 Training Session One
December 2021 Date TBC Group Session Two
January 13 2022 Training Session Two
February 2022 Date TBC Group Session Three
February 17 2022 Training Session Three
March 2022 Date TBC Closing Event

NOTE: Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the need for an element of flexibility to support all participating museums equally there may at times be the need to reschedule some dates. Adequate notice will be given in this eventuality and we are committed to supporting all participants as fully as possible.

Who is eligible:

To be eligible to apply to this programme you need to be from a non-NPO Accredited museum or currently working towards Accreditation. We are particularly looking for museums who are:

  • Committed to reviewing their volunteering strategy
  • Open to learning and exploring changes to involving volunteers
  • Keen to learn more about and embed inclusive practice into their work on involving volunteers
  • Able to dedicate time and staff/volunteer resources to ensure they can benefit from the programme fully
  • Be based in a participating geographical area (see below)

Your museum must be based in one of the following 5 areas: Wales, North West, North East, West Midlands, East Midlands.

How to apply:

After reviewing your availability to take part in the key programme dates, please complete the Expression of Interest form and return by 5pm on the Friday 1st October 2021. For more information about the programme, please contact Alex Bird at [email protected] or Sarah Hartshorne at [email protected]

MDUK are committed to providing accessible and inclusive opportunities for the sector and have a dedicated budget to address any need. Please outline any details in your Expression of Interest.