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By Alex Urmston on

Thank you to all our volunteers!

This week (1–7 June) is National Volunteers' Week, an annual celebration of the contributions that millions of people across the UK make through volunteering.
A group of people posing for a portrait
The team accepting an award at the Manchester Museum for our contribution to volunteering in Manchester

Volunteers are an essential part of the workforce at the Science and Industry Museum and play a vital role in keeping our historical machines running and our world-first computers whirring, and giving our visitors the best possible experiences.

Our volunteers are involved in all aspects of the museum’s operation. They dedicate their skills and knowledge to our collections, as well as bucketloads of enthusiasm and passion, and we want to say a huge thank you to every one of them!

Sally MacDonald, Director of the Science and Industry Museum, said:

“Volunteers’ Week celebrations always bring back memories for me, of when (light years ago now!) I volunteered at Manchester Art Gallery for six months. For me it was an opportunity to give something back to a gallery I found inspiring, and a great grounding for a career in museums. It was also where I met my future husband—an unexpected benefit!

“Our volunteers at the Science and Industry Museum are absolutely vital to our work and the service we can offer our visitors. We have around 130 active volunteers doing everything from collections cataloguing projects and looking after our historic working machinery, to supporting events and visitor engagement, inspiring future generations. Our last Manchester Science Festival saw 127 volunteers give an incredible 3,000 hours to support events across the city. Not only that, through the STEM Ambassador programme, we have over 1,000 amazing volunteers supporting primary and secondary teachers across Greater Manchester.

“Our volunteer teams are really diverse—they come from all walks of life and bring so much to the museum in terms of skills, knowledge, experience and their incredible enthusiasm, dedication and care.

“I hope that like me, many of them feel the benefits of their volunteering for years to come. In the meantime, a huge, huge thank you to all our volunteers for the amazing, positive impact you have on the museum and our visitors.”

A man and a woman stood behind a table holding leaflets
Peter and Janet engaging new volunteers at a Volunteer Fair

Kathryn, Conservation Volunteer Team Supervisor:

“I would love to say a huge thank you to all the conservation volunteers for their dedication and hard work in caring for the collection. Conservation cleaning of the objects on open display is invaluable work and makes such a difference to the experience of our visitors. Thank you!”

A man and a woman stood in front of an old computerr, talking to another woman
Christine and Dave, Baby Computer Volunteers

Abi, Curator and Volunteer Supervisor for the Baby Computing Volunteer Team:

“The volunteer team that demonstrates the Baby computer do a fantastic job of bringing an important piece of computing history to life. They are incredibly knowledgeable and are brilliant at engaging visitors with Baby, in line with people’s interest. The team are also experts at fixing this temperamental machine, so it can keep running for future generations of visitors. Thank you!”

A woman sat at a table with building blocks in front of her
Alba, Exhibition Engagement Volunteer

Kate, Volunteer Manager:

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of our incredible volunteers for supporting so many projects, events, festivals and exhibitions at the museum. We have amazing volunteer teams in both front of house and back of house roles, helping us to inspire future generations and take care of our collections. I have so much fun working with all of them so thank you and happy National Volunteers’ Week!”

Two men and a woman taking a selfie
Events Volunteers Eric, Colin and Daisy

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