April news from MDEM
MDEM Update
As we continue in lockdown but look forward to reopening, the difficulties of planning are still ever present, but spare a thought for some very significant museum sites reopening over the coming months across the East Midlands.  After a highly challenging year planning for opening after years of work, I’m sure everyone is looking forward to finally seeing the exciting new experiences at Northampton Museum, Derby Silk Mill and Nottingham Castle – we’ll update you when there are fixed opening dates.
Reopening for many will be impacted by the availability of volunteers. We were overwhelmed to receive 80 museum responses to our regional volunteering survey circulated in March.  The responses were illuminating and show a split between rural and urban volunteering challenges but less difference between independent and local authority museums when addressing volunteering needs. It was especially sad to read that some museums had lost volunteers to Covid and concerning that half the respondents were unsure if volunteers would return in the same way as before.  This review of volunteering exposes the lack of diversity across volunteers in our region which inevitably impacts on the future sustainability and relevance of organisations going forward. This year has highlighted the fragile nature of having a predominantly older volunteer workforce, and the survey responses demonstrate museums want to consider how future volunteers could be recruited differently to meet the needs of both the organisation and the individual.  Museums also want to provide different types of volunteering opportunities to appeal to people with different skills while also focusing on succession planning.
We are compiling a report on the findings of the survey which we’ll circulate in April, and we’re shaping our support in response.  During 2021-22, we will work with Museum Development in other regions to not only address training needs for all, but to share best practice across the country via Zoom events and link to national organisations that can support museums.  We’ll aim to strengthen regional volunteering networks and connect museums/ heritage sites into the wider voluntary sector. A more intensive programme of support and mentoring will be available to a small cohort of museums that want to actively address volunteer development in the coming year and our Board Succession Planning programme will be re-run during 2021-22 so watch this space for more information about how to take part (also see
Claire Browne, Programme Manager MDEM
MDEM Launch New Website
We're thrilled to be bringing you a new website and rebrand for MDEM. We hope you like our new logo and colour scheme, we've feel we've picked things which reflect our dynamic and collaborative nature.

We invite you all to take a look at the new website which is jam packed full of resources and information. It's the same web address and we'd love to know what you think.
Upcoming MDEM Events
27th April, 9:15am - 11:45am

This workshop provides an overview of the various governance models for museums and explore the pro and cons to incorporation.

29th April 1pm - 3pm

This session will provide an introduction to the 'Safe Spaces' campaign and how it can relate to museums. Join MDEM and leading support charities as well as the National Justice Museum to explore how museums can become safer spaces for their workforce and communities.

5th May 10am - 12noon 

This online workshop will be led by Anita Hollinshead, Regional Collections Adviser for MDEM and will explore the potential issues that may have arisen within collections that have been locked down - what to look for and the best actions to take.

There will be a particular emphasis on dealing with pest activity including insects, rodents, bats and birds. Delegates will be encouraged to ask questions and share their own experiences.

13th May 10am - 12noon 

This online workshop will be led by Anita Hollinshead, Regional Collections Adviser for MDEM and will explore the potential issues that may have arisen within collections that have been locked down - what to look for and the best actions to take.

There will be a particular emphasis on dealing with pest activity including insects, rodents, bats and birds. Delegates will be encouraged to ask questions and share their own experiences.

12th May 9:30am - 1pm

This half day introduction course has been designed for those wishing to use coaching to improve mentoring, communication and relationships.


Topics explored in the training include foundation coaching skills: philosophy and application and the GROW model of coaching. The course is accompanied by a small, practical manual.

Please note various dates and times are available.

As the phased reopening of the Accreditation scheme begins we're here to support you to achieve and maintain the Accreditation standard. 

These one-hour surgeries will be able to provide advice and practical support on both the application process and submitting against the Accreditation standard. 

Other Events and Resources
Nottingham Castle would like to offer other organisations spaces on their upcoming RoSPA Playsafety training course. The training day will be covid safe and does not include lunch; tea/coffee will be provided.

This course is aimed at those who are responsible for the routine (daily/weekly) inspections.
Such inspections are mainly visual and offer you the opportunity to check for issues arising
from day to day wear and tear, weather and vandalism.
A RoSPA Certificate of Training will be given to all participants who complete the course.

Click here for more information.
 20th April, 3:30pm - 5pm

In this interactive session, Louise and Tom from Fair Museum Jobs reflect on their 2020 Careers Summit, and explore some of the subtle - as well as not-so-subtle - issues in museum job recruitment which impact on the equitability of the sector. Join Louise and Tom as they consider some of the common barriers to access that are thrown up by recruitment processes, and look at ways in which we can all make improvements. 

In a series of mock scenarios, Louise and Tom will ask you to assess job descriptions, choose the best candidate for the job, review and discuss sector salaries, and write interview questions. The aims for the session are to leave you empowered, inspired and keen to contribute to sector change.

27th April, 2pm - 3pm

Kairos Women+, Who Cares? Scotland and Paisley Museum are hosting a session exploring collaboration as part of the transformative Paisley Museum Re-imagined project. The session will address:

  • The value of active and creative involvement and collaboration;

  • How basic human actions like love and care lead to meaningful involvement and change;

  • Committing to investing in communities;

  • The need for relationships to transcend beyond the walls of museums.

This ‘in conversation’ presentation will discuss the journey Paisley Museum is taking as it looks to re-imagine itself through meaningful involvement, and asks what commitments the museum need to be making to communities.

The next Museums Association Midlands members' meeting will be on: Tuesday 20th April, 1800-1900. 

Social history Curator Michelle Lisa Gayle will be leading a great workshop and there will be time for informal networking and all sorts of good things!

Click here to register.
MidFed April Meeting
The MidFed is back in action after the pandemic took the Committees mind's elsewhere! 

You are invited to join us for our second Zoom networking event on 28th April at 1pm! 

We are running a series of 40 minute lunchtime Zoom meetings, with a five minute presentation and plenty of time for chat. We’re hoping for a relaxed discussion about relevant issues, sharing good ideas and keeping in touch.

This meeting will be an opportunity to have a chat about re-opening your sites and sharing your thoughts! We'll be sharing some support networks and ideas, and we'd love to hear how you're all getting on!

To join, please complete the following form and the Zoom link will be sent to you prior to the event.
Funding Update

MDEM's Grants are now open to applications. See below for a summary of what is available:

Grant funds are available to Accredited museums and those working towards Accreditation and MDEM has three grant funds in 2021-22.

  • Small Grants of £250-£1,500 Applications can be submitted between 1 April 2021 and 31 January 2022 – applications assessed monthly
  • Collections Access Grants of £100-£1,000 Applications can be submitted between 1 April 2021 and 31 January 2022 – applications assessed monthly
  • Recovery & Reboot Grants £1,500 – £5000 Deadlines for applications are 30 April and 31 July 2021

Should you need further guidance, please contact Claire Browne, Programme Manager.

News Updates

Published by the National Museum Directors’ Council (NMDC) with support from DCMS and the Museums and Galleries Working Group, these guidelines are intended to help employers, employees and the self-employed, and volunteers in the museum sector in England understand how to work safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The guidelines should:

  • provide a set of practical considerations museums will want to work through before a museum is ready to reopen
  • be used in conjunction with COVID-safe guidelines published by HM Government, and is intended to enhance, not supplant existing regulations
  • sit alongside and inform existing business practices and standard structures museums already consider when managing risk and conducting business planning activities

The guidelines were updated on the 7th April to include new Test and Trace requirement - *every customer/visitor to provide name and contact details* 

Our colleagues in South East Museum Development have compiled a 'top tips' resources for promoting volunteer opportunities considering the effects of the last 12 months.
Job and Volunteering Opportunities 

University of Leeds - Dialect and Heritage Project Vacancies

The Dialect and Heritage Project is opening up the extensive Leeds Archive of Vernacular Culture (LAVC) to the public.  The archive includes the ground-breaking work of the Survey of English Dialects.  The survey will now be updated and made available online for the first time, with the help of volunteers recruited and trained as oral history and dialect fieldworkers and transcribers.

Engagement Officers x 5
Based with project partner museums: Dales Countryside Museum, Ryedale Folk Museum, Weald & Downland Living Museum, Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings and the Museum of East Anglian Life.  
Part time (0.5 FTE)
£23,067 – £26,715 (pro rata)
Closing date:  20th April 2021

Project Assistant


Part time (0.4 FTE)

£19,612 – £22,417 (pro rata)

Closing date:  20th April 2021

Marketing and Communications Officer
Nottingham Castle Trust are keen to see applications from people of all backgrounds and communities and are committed to representing the diverse nature of the city. The Trust look forward to receiving applications from all suitable candidates and will conduct inclusive recruitment processes based on attitude, experience and qualifications.

£24,000 per annum full-time equivalent.

CV and covering letter to by 15th April 2021

Hours: Full time 37 hours

Salary: £23,825 – £25,420

Contract Type: Permanent

Derby Museums is looking for an energetic and motivated Events Programmer to lead the development of public events across the three Derby Museums’ sites that engage a wide range of audiences and partners.

Click here for more information. 

We are looking for a talented, creative individual to join the team as Head of Engagement and Interpretation.

Salary: £28,000 per annum Full-time
Closes: 22nd April

For more information, please click here. 

Do you have a job, commission or volunteering opportunity that you would like to advertise? Email Laura with full details and your vacancy could appear on our website and in our next e-newsletter.