The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust beat off stiff competition last evening (14th June) from rival finalists Spitalfields Music and The Floating Classroom by winning the Arts, Culture and Heritage category at the prestigious Charity Awards Ceremony at Grosvenor House Hotel in London for their World Class Volunteering Project supported by Arts Council England.
The award was presented to Anna Brennand, Deputy Chief Executive and Traci Dix-Williams, Director of Operations, Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust by one of England’s best known pop artists, Sir Peter Blake.
The award recognised how the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust has become the leader in innovatively recruiting and retaining a diverse range of volunteers in the cultural sector. With over 400 active volunteers the Museum provides a blue print on how to run volunteer programmes and has supported over 70 other organisations to develop their own volunteer programmes.
Barrie Williams, Chairman of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust said: “The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust has long recognised the value of volunteering to not only the organisation but also the volunteers themselves, and it is wonderful that we have been able to help over 70 other organisations across the UK run effective and beneficial volunteer programmes. We are confident that winning this award will further highlight the important contribution that volunteers can make to cultural organisations and also help people understand the considerable personal development opportunities that are available to individuals who volunteer. We are thrilled that all the hard work of our trustees, staff, volunteers and partners who have helped make this project a reality, has been recognised by the judges.”
The Charity Awards have been run for the last 13 years by Civil Society Media, publishers of Charity Finance, Fundraising and Governance magazines and are regarded as the sector’s most prestigious excellence recognition scheme.
The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, a registered charity established in 1967 to preserve and interpret the remains of the Industrial Revolution in the six square miles of the Ironbridge Gorge, was shortlisted from hundreds of entries in the Arts, Culture and Heritage category alongside just two other charities. It was selected for ‘World Class Volunteering’ a ground-breaking project designed to significantly increase the number and diversity of people volunteering at both Ironbridge and other museums across the West Midlands. The project has provided bespoke support for over 70 museums, most of them charities, and has been acknowledged as a national exemplar.
The Charity Awards is the highest profile event in the charity calendar. All 32 shortlisted charities this year have been judged by an independent panel of sector leaders as having demonstrated outstanding best practice from which other organisations can learn.