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Museum volunteers get award

Published on Thursday, October 6, 2016

VOLUNTEERS at one of Leicester’s best-loved museums have won a prestigious award for their work.

Members of the Leicester Museum Technology Asssociation (LMTA), who volunteer at Abbey Pumping Station, have won the East Midlands prize in the annual Volunteers for Museum Learning award, which is presented by the British Museum and the Marsh Christian Trust. 

The award is designed to recognise the work volunteers do in helping museums engage with their visitors.

The Volunteers for Museum Learning award is part of a programme of awards given annually by the Marsh Christian Trust in the fields of science, ecology, conservation, heritage, literature and volunteering.

The LMTA volunteers based at Abbey Pumping Station were handed certificates and a cash prize of £500, donated by the Marsh Christian Trust.

There are about 150 museum volunteers taking part in various roles at Abbey Pumping Station, of which about 50 are actively involved in running events for visitors. Museum highlights include the impressive steam-powered beam engines and the museum’s historic transport collection.

Volunteers also organise a range of children’s events in the holidays, which include storytelling relating to the site, helping young visitors’ understand how the museum’s mechanical objects work and teaching them the basic principles of printing.

Chair of the LMTA, Tony Kendall, has been volunteering at the museum for over 30 years. He said: "We were very pleased to be nominated for it, and to win the East Midlands regional award, which is some recognition for all the volunteers' efforts.

"We're do things like taking the vintage vehicles out to public events, keeping them in good running order and talking to visitors about the stuff we have at the museum, which is always interesting."

Leicester assistant city mayor for culture, leisure and sport, Cllr Piara Singh Clair, added: “Our museums are a very valuable resource about the city’s history and the heritage, and our volunteers play a really important role in helping young visitors to learn and get involved. 

“I’m really pleased that Abbey Pumping Station’s volunteers have been recognised with this award, which is richly deserved.   

“They are key players in the numerous open events throughout the year, which helps make Abbey Pumping Station one of the city’s best tourist attractions.”