VisitEngland, the national tourist board, has announced the results for the 2016 Tourism Superstar.
Rachel Duffield, Learning & Engagement Officer at Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse, had been shortlisted for VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar 2016 – making it through to the final 11 nationally.
The campaign recognises the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry, and is awarded to an individual who goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors to England have an unforgettable experience.
Gressenhall’s very own Rachel Duffield came third, just two votes behind the second place.
The winner was Lilian Groves, Senior Guide at Durham Cathedral, although she did have a little help from the rock star Sting who retweeted her request for votes!
We’re delighted with the result for Rachel (aka Moaning Martha), and the related campaign has enabled us to promote all the wonderful changes taking place at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse.
Rachel Duffield, aka Moaning Martha,
outside Gressenhall Workhouse
Last year we nominated people in each of the SHARE Museums East Volunteer Award categories and James Scott (seen above on right with Juliet, John and one of the Suffolks) won Young Volunteer of the year. It would be great if we could have such a strong set of nominations this time.
The categories this year are:
Bringing Innovation Award
Individual nominations only. This award recognises the volunteer who has brought new ideas and ways of working to their museum in a positive and constructive way. This may have been a new system to help record data or new ideas for a shop or exhibition. Their imagination and creativity will have facilitated a significant positive change to the way in which the museum works and this is the time to thank them for it.
Front of House Volunteer Award
Team and individual nominations accepted. This award is for volunteers who
demonstrate excellence in their interaction with visitors. The successful candidate(s) will have a good knowledge of their museum, both its layout and collection. They will have been recognised by both their managers and visitors and should be seen as having tact and diplomacy in their interactions with the public. Ultimately, this award is for those who have improved the museum experience for all visitors.
Behind the Scenes Award
Team and individual nominations accepted. This award is for volunteers whose
contributions are not usually recognised by people outside their museum. They might
have been involved in maintaining collections or other records, emptying the bins, taking meeting notes, acting as general fixer when things break or counting the takings. It can apply to a particular project or to contributions over a more extended period. The principle is that your museum couldn’t operate without them, but in a way that may not be obvious.
Outstanding Young Volunteer Award
Team and individual nominations accepted. This category is specifically for volunteers under the age of 25 who have excelled in any of the categories or who have achieved something else exceptional. Young people are often overlooked or regarded as “just wanting to boost their CV” when volunteering. This is your opportunity to recognise those who really stand out or who have contributed to a museum project. They have been a positive ambassador for the museum.
Learning Volunteer Award
Individual or team nominations accepted. This award is for volunteers who are enthusiastic about developing and delivering inspiring and engaging learning activities using their museum collections and buildings. They
enjoy telling the stories held within their museum collections and bringing history to life for a wide range of visitors. They may have developed a partnership with a local school or be delivering family learning activities but whatever they are doing it will be innovative and inspiring and will make visitors feel that they would love to find out more.
Team and individual nominations accepted. This award is for museum volunteers who have been actively collaborating with other community or volunteer led groups or organisations. Collaboration can be quite simple, such as the interchange of people or equipment for mutual benefit, or more complex, such as a joint organisation of an event that has benefitted both parties. The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate this benefit and also show how both parties hope that the collaboration will continue.
If you could let me have suggestions for nominations by Friday 25 March, 2016.(Good Friday!)
I will prepare and send the forms to SHARE.
Collaborate with Gressenhall
Museum launches new collaboration project, a blog where they will explore different responses to the theme: ‘Voices from the Workhouse’ during 2016.
Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse has launched a new blog to encourage work with different partners and individuals on collaborative projects.
The museum held a Collaborate with Gressenhall Inspiration Day on January 19th. At the day they launched a new blog (click here) where they will explore different responses to the theme “Voices from the Workhouse” over the year.
The blog will invite people to explore these stories and create something new in response to them. This could be a piece of creative writing, painting, sculpture, drama performance or digital project.
On the site you can find different resources on the collections, building and people, explore different projects they are already working on, and keep up to date with the shared blog.
The museum is encouraging a wide range of people to get involved. The museum needs you to get involved.
You can explore the resources online and see where inspiration takes you.
There will be an open submission “Collaborate with Gressenhall” exhibition held in October half term at the museum. Get going and create something to display.
The museum is already collaborating with a wide range of people and organisations.
Next week the curator, Megan Dennis will be travelling to Minnesota, USA to work with students at Carleton College on a 3d virtual reality model of Gressenhall House of Industry.
The university is creating fantastic digital resources for use at the museum.
The trip is generously funded by Carleton College and is a fantastic opportunity to establish a working relationship that will bring benefits to both students and the museum in the future.
Curator, Megan Dennis said “Working with a wide range of different people is exciting and refreshing.
“It helps you look at the collections and the building in new and different ways. I am really enthusiastic to see what different people come up with.”
The Collaborate with Gressenhall exhibition will be displayed at the museum in October half term, admission included in entry.