Volunteers

MHM understands the volunteering landscape in the heritage and cultural sector.

We have undertaken both formative research and project evaluations in this field. This includes primary research for several distinguished organisations to evaluate their volunteer programmes and develop their volunteering offer, including Museums Galleries Scotland, Imperial War Museum and Manchester Museum.

To inform our work we have undertaken a comprehensive literature review into the volunteering landscape in the United Kingdom. This included the extent of volunteering, different types of volunteering and the range of motivations for volunteering as well as the social, cultural and economic impact of volunteering.

For the Heritage Lottery Fund, Imperial War Museum and Manchester Museum we undertook an evaluation of In Touch, a three-year volunteering programme. It looked specifically at how to engage people who were considered socially, culturally and economically excluded from the typical poolo f museum volunteers.

We carried out a three-year evaluation of the project, exploring the life-history of the volunteers, their motivations to, and expectations of, volunteering, the experience of volunteering and the personal, social, cultural and economic impact of volunteering – both on the individual volunteers and on the host museums and their workforce. Deploying a mixed methodology of quantitative, qualitative and ethnographic methods, this piece of research revealed a very wide definition of volunteering and a complex web of ways of engaging volunteer audiences.

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