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Museum Requesting Volunteers.


algy
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Below is the content of an email sent to me today,

 

Perhaps this will test our resolve!.

Algy.


Curious people wanted…

In October 2013 Warrington Museum and Art Gallery will be opening its brand new ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ gallery. As part of the project we are looking for a number of volunteer curators who to help us make the display truly remarkable.

No experience necessary…

The aim of the project is to showcase the museum’s rich and diverse collections in a refurbished, state-of-the-art gallery. Exhibits will include old favourites and rarely seen items from our stores that all have the potential to inspire our visitors and help them see the museum with fresh eyes.  You do not need to know about working in museums! All you really need is enthusiasm, an enquiring mind, a creative approach and fresh ideas about how objects can be used to tell surprising and thought-provoking stories.

Full training given…

We are asking for an initial commitment of two days per week to the project, but hope that many of the volunteers will be able to continue working with the Museum over a much longer period of time. Tasks will include: helping to select and display objects, researching their stories, creating labels and text panels and learning to look after them for years to come.

If you are interested, need more information, or perhaps know somebody who would be ideal, please contact Bill Longshaw, Cabinet of Curiosities Project Officer at Warrington Museum and Art Gallery.

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Below is the content of an email sent to me today,

 

Perhaps this will test our resolve!.

Algy.

 

Or perhaps they are after the likes of me (who often whinges that there's not enought available online or that too many things are hidden away etc etc) and they just want to sus me/us out to be included in a forthcoming exhibition of a real person hanging in their giblett thing :lol:  I bet some of you would actually pay to see that too :P  

 

Joking aside... that really does sound very interesting and it would be great to be involved in it all.  Maybe I will be brave.... how about you Algy ? 

 

Shame Tracey doesn't live nearer as that's definately right up her street !

 

Great to see that there are more new things coming and that they are all working hard to bring these things to life again... and even asking for volunteers to help too. :)

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Good old WBC. Cut back on staff to save money so that officers/councillors don't need a cut in pay/expenses/jollies. Offset the cutbacks in the understaffed departments by using unpaid staff (slaves) but make them think they are helping the community by asking them to 'volunteer' and make the jobs sound more interesting than they really are. Make the fools think they are doing something really interesting and useful. And don't mention claiming expenses.

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Shame Tracey doesn't live nearer as that's definately right up her street !

 

Too right Dizzy! I'd love to do it, although would be much more motivated if it were local history. The Museum doesn't seem to have a whole lot of Warrington artifacts although maybe this project will help that, who knows. 

 

2 days a week is a huge commitment for a volunteer. I'm a volunteer advisor at the CAB and recently had to cut down from 2 days to 1, although I do still have primary school age children at home who generate a fair amount of work!

 

Using volunteers rather than paid staff is a problem in this sector, it's the sort of thing where it's easy to find enthusiastic amateurs and paid opportunities for trained people shrink as a result. I took my daughters to see a local Roman dig over the summer, smallest daughter took an assortment of clay pipes she'd dug up on the allotment and asked one of the archaeologists to have a look at them "because I want to be an archaeologist too!". He launched into a long and bitter rant about how many of his staff had just been made redundant and he was now staffed entirely by volunteers, "in short little girl - don't get into archaeology!", turned on his heel and marched off! The 3 of us stood there gaping like fish!

 

Saying that though, there's an element of money where our mouths are after the other thread. I kind of suspect that in the end this will go to a student looking for work experience.

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So how many Warrington Museum staff were actually sacked then to make way for the volunteers? Does anyone have any figures or is Obs just being his usual miserable alarmist self?? I don't think the Museum is part of WBC any longer either.  I wish i were in a position to spare the time as it sounds really interesting and fun.

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Errm, where's the "alarmism" Eyeball?   They're asking for "volunteers" to work for no pay - right?  Museum is, or was (assuming they've not privatised it) a public service, employing "public workers". sheesh!

Right so Warrington Museum has sacked some of its workforce to make way for volunteers then.  I didn't know that.

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Voluntary work...seems to be a growing part of the work place ethic.

As I understand it they actively encourage people who are out of work to do some voluntary work. The thinking behind it is that it helps the person looking for a permanent paid job to get into the "habit" of getting up and going to work and shows prospective employers that the person they are considering has the commitment to turn up for work. After all if they are willing to turn up and work for no pay then they will certainly turn up and work for pay.

 

In a way I can understand the museum asking for people to volunteer for this type of thing. They only have so many staff who cannot be experts in all fields and if they are spending time talking to the public and conducting tours then they cannot be doing the job of maintaining and cataloguing exhibits. Also if you have to spend two days a week conducting tours it may cause de-motivation. They may enjoy looking after exhibits etc. but be really annoyed at having to spend two days a week wandering around explaining something that they have no interest or enthusiasm for. The public on the tours would not get the benefit of "expert" knowledge and would therefore be disillusioned and unlikely to return to tour any future exhibits or recommend the tour to friends.

 

Some of the best tours are given by willing volunteers who are passionate about the subject and have an interest in what they are explaining.

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These days, volunteers tend to be people in their 50's and over who have been made redundant or retired.. The Third Sector is what it's all about. Councils cut back on services (ie Libraries etc) "hoping" that Joe Bloggs will volunteer. They do get some who at first are full of enthusiasm, but eventually get fed up as the job grows an d the council interfere.

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As I understand it they actively encourage people who are out of work to do some voluntary work. The thinking behind it is that it helps the person looking for a permanent paid job to get into the "habit" of getting up and going to work and shows prospective employers that the person they are considering has the commitment to turn up for work. After all if they are willing to turn up and work for no pay then they will certainly turn up and work for pay.

 

Look at Cait Reilly, she was doing volunteer work in a museum til she was told to go and work in Poundland for free instead! 

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Look at Cait Reilly, she was doing volunteer work in a museum til she was told to go and work in Poundland for free instead! 

I can't believe that my displaying an email basically requesting for help to display the towns past in one way or another could result in so many negative replies, for 'BLOODY HELL'S' Sake if your not interested then stop moaning, either " PUT UP OR SHUT UP"!!!!.

 

                                                                                                                                                                   Angry-Emoticon_zpsdfbdb7b4.gif

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Ummm - not sure why I'm being singled out for the rage but if it helps the point I was trying to make was a wider one about volunteers and how disjointed the Government policy is rather than an attempt to put down this particular offer. For what it's worth, I think it's a good thing to get the local community involved. As I said earlier, if I was closer I would do it happily. However two days a week IS a huge commitment from a volunteer, I've lived it, I know. It's a constructive point to make as this could be a barrier to attracting people. 

 

The discussion moved on the problem of volunteers taking up what have previously been paid roles. I highlighted the Cat Reilly case because it's a relevant example. I think it's ridiculous that she was already volunteering to gain experience in her chosen field (as Evil Sid outlined he thought unemployed people were required to do) but she was required by the job centre to give this up in order to 'volunteer' at Poundland instead. I wasn't suggesting that anyone volunteering at the Museum would end up working in Poundland against their will, I just thought her case was relevant to the wider discussion, especially as she was originally volunteering in a Museum.

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Indeed not Tracey, in fact it was my error in using your quote as a reply and I do apologise for that, what I am referring to is that it doesn't make any difference how innocent a subject is, when it is posted on here, if any of our multi talentented wonderboy amature political pundits can introduce a twist to it, they will, the topic was placed on this forum to try and help the museum, who as someone correctly stated are no longer answereable to the WBC and now have to stand on their own two feet, to display to the townspeople artifacts that are hopefully of an interest to them, and if no one is interested, then ignore the request and go and vent their frustration out of some other topic more deserving. Regarding yourself I am mindful that you initially said that if you lived locally you would have volunteered.

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