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Posted: Oct 4, 2018

Help behind-the-scenes at the museum

Exciting opportunity for volunteers to help behind-the-scenes at the museum.

Recording and packing

The museum is offering a unique opportunity for the public to participate in its exciting Revival Project and gain a unique insight into how the museum works behind-the-scenes. The museum is looking for volunteers to help with its decant project in advance of its closure for major refurbishment. Volunteer roles will involve packing up and recording the museum's collections so that it can be moved out of the Grade II* listed building to temporary storage locations whilst major building works are undertaken.

Volunteers will physically handle museum objects currently on display or stored at the museum, specifically packing and wrapping the artefacts, and recording appropriate information to enable the safe storage and subsequent retrieval of the items before the museum re-opens in 2020. There are an estimated 4000 objects that need to be re-located including costumes, agricultural tools and social history items currently on display in the museum's period rooms and exhibition galleries.

Anyone interested in participating in the decant project must be over 18 years old and reasonably fit, with a good standard of written English and willingness to work as part of a team. Volunteers will go through a formal volunteer induction and will be expected to commit to a regular half-day session per week, subject to prior agreement with the museum staff. Training in correct object handling, packing and recording procedures will be given, as well as health and safety awareness training. A decant training session is planned for Friday 2 November 2018 and will be delivered by Helena Jaeschke, Conservation Development Officer for the South West Museum Development Programme and Mark Neathey, Collections Officer at the museum.

Volunteer packs for the decant project are available at the Tourist Information Centre desk.

Emma Ayling, Museum Director, said: "This is a wonderful opportunity for members of the public to be part of a community team and acquire new skills and museum experience. As well as handling the collections, volunteers will gain a unique insight into how a community museum works behind-the-scenes.

"Our Revival Project will transform the access and facilities of the museum, provide some fantastic opportunities for volunteers in the coming months, and ensure the area's heritage is shared more widely than ever before."

The £1.6 million Revival Project starts this autumn and will be completed by spring 2020. It is supported by £982,200 of National Lottery funding awarded through the Heritage Lottery Fund; charitable foundations including the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Talbot Village Trust, the Valentine Charitable Trust and the Pilgrim Trust; local councils East Dorset District Council and Dorset County Council; the local community; and local businesses Bloor Homes, Teacher's Building Society and Renaissance Homes.

For further information on the decant project, contact Emma Ayling or Mark Neathey on 01202 882533 or email

Download expression of interest form

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