Museum volunteers “critical” to sustaining sector

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MUSEUM volunteers play a “critical” role in the sustainability of the sector, new research shows.

A recent report published by Museums Galleries Scotland underlined the importance of the volunteers who work in 94% of the country’s museums and galleries.

The research  found that volunteer numbers have increased, while the number of paid staff have stayed constant.

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The study was commissioned by Museums Galleries Scotland

 

Older, retired volunteers have strong altruistic motivations while younger volunteers have motives which are  largely intellectual and economic.

Almost all volunteers agreed that volunteering at a museum or gallery had been an enjoyable experience, and 72% said that it had improved their social life.

Furthermore, 93% agreed that that volunteering had increased their knowledge of local history, and 73% said it had providing them with new skills.

Joanne Orr, CEO of Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS), said: “This research evidences the positive impact of volunteers on the sector and demonstrates that they are actually fundamental to the viability and sustainability of many museums and galleries.

“The findings underline the importance of the investment MGS already makes in supporting volunteering within the sector, and reinforces the value of continued support for volunteers to help them better serve the needs of our museums and galleries and, through them, the communities they represent.”

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