January news from MDEM
MDEM Update
Welcome to the New Year edition of the MDEM newsletter.  We’re kicking off the year with information about our Carbon Literacy programme to help museums address the impact of climate change (as part of a national programme) that Anita Hollinshead will be leading for MDEM. Also, I encourage you to book early for the Collections Symposium at Lincoln University Conservation Department on 7 April, which is always a popular event and places get snapped up quickly!
On a personal note, my New Year news is that after 16 years, I’ll be moving on from MDEM to a new job at the National Trust in the East of England. It’s been a hard decision after developing MDEM from the start all those years ago and having had such an amazing experience in the East Midlands.  Prior to MDEM, I was Community Museums Officer at the County Council supporting the independent museums across the county. I was given a warm welcome from the start and I have had a fantastic time working with so many enthusiastic, knowledgeable and friendly people in some remarkable places. The East Midlands is an underrated region with so much significant history and diversity across its museums offer but I’m looking forward to getting to know a new region and, as some of you will know, I’m a Suffolk-girl so I’m going back to my roots in one sense. I’m sure I will catch up with many of you before I leave in mid-March and, if not, I will be able to keep in touch with what you’re all doing going forward through my continued contact with MDEM. We also want to wish Sarah Hartshorne well as she starts her maternity leave this week – Sarah will be back in October on a part-time basis.
Claire Browne, Programme Manager MDEM
MDEM Updates
Skills Needs Survey

MDEM would like to thank everyone who took part in the national Skills Needs Survey for Museum Development England in September last year. The results have now been analysed at a national and regional level and are being actively used to inform our programmes and training over the coming 12 months.

The headline areas for the next year, the most frequently chosen training priorities are:

  • Digital leadership transformation and change
  • Digital content topics (content production, social media content)
  • Volunteering topics (diversifying volunteers, remote volunteering, managing volunteer teams)
  • Fundraising topics (diversifying fundraising streams, writing grant applications)
  • Communication & teamwork
  • Succession planning
  • Formal learning

These priorities are closely followed by some Governance topics, such as: Developing and strengthening partnerships and collaboration, emergency planning and recruiting Trustees/Board members (including diverse boards). A clear desire for a blend of digital and in person support was expressed, and a return to in-person conference annually where possible.

You'll see from this newsletter we're already publicising programmes in direct response to this, and have planned in more widely across the year how we can best meet the regions needs across all our outputs.

If you are interested or would like more information, you can read the full summary report for the East Midlands here.


We're pleased to be starting 2022 with a year long focus on sustainable practices across museum operations, Over the coming 12 months there'll be several opportunities for organisations and individuals to learn more about greener museum initiatives, from collections to governance.

We have already held our inaugural event, the Greener Museums Symposium on the 11th Jan 2022. It was wonderful to hear from three sector case studies of how museums have addressed and developed working in more sustainable ways, thank you for all those that attended.

Coming up:

Carbon Literacy Museums Toolkit - Launched 24th January

Regional Collections Symposium: Sustainable Futures
7th April 10am-4pm at University of Lincoln

Carbon Literacy Certification - online courses available throughout 2022. See below for further information.

MDEM Trustee Network - there will be a focus on sustainable governance as part of the network. We are hoping to run an in-person meeting themed around this in September, and to provide Carbon Literacy certification aimed specifically at Trustees, starting 2nd August.

Please click on the above links to sign up to those opportunities currently being advertised. You can also contact Anita Hollinshead for further information. 

MDEM Development Programmes

This MDEM short programme supports museums to consider all elements of good practice in succession planning and enables them to develop a focused and realistic plan for the future. Facilitated by Heather Lomas, MDEM will provide a blend of intensive support to a cohort of 6 museums.

  • Have you considered how the board will manage if one of the trustees decides to leave?
  • Has the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted gaps on your board and the need for new expertise and experiences?
  • Do you know which skills, experience and attitudes are required to enable your museum to flourish and be sustainable?
  • Have you thought about the representation on your board, does it reflect a range of views, viewpoints and your audiences?
  • Are you fully up to date with your governing document and the rules and terms of office for trustees?

We ask all applicants to firstly read the full MDEM Succession Planning Programme Information 2022 which contains the full details of the programme, including the dates.

To apply for this opportunity, please complete the Succession Planning 2022 – EOI form by the 4 March 2022 and email it to:

Carbon Literacy Certification

MDEM and partners are part of the Roots & Branches project, a collaboration providing an opportunity for museums to converse, experiment, and test new ideas for a more sustainable future.

MDEM will be running Carbon Literacy courses in partnership with West Midlands Museum Development, aimed at a variety of staff and volunteer groups. Booking will be open soon and the course dates are:

  1. Cohort 1 (General): 26th and 28th April
  2. Cohort 2 (General): 21st and 23rd June
  3. Cohort 3 (Trustees): 9th and 11th August
  4. Cohort 4 (Industrial Heritage):  8th and 10th November
  5. Cohort 5 (General):17th and 19th January 2023
  6. Cohort 6 (General): 14th and 16th March

We aim to support 45 individuals to become certified as Carbon Literate through the free to access scheme, to promote greener and more sustainable practices across the whole region.

For more information on the Carbon Literacy Toolkit and the wider Roots & Branches project, click here.

For more information, and to register your interest please contact Anita Hollinshead.

Upcoming MDEM Events
1st Feb

Is your museum making the most of its digitised collections content online? Finding the right channel, tone, voice and techniques to reach and connect with audiences online isn’t easy.

This course will explore the specific tensions and challenges that digital storytelling can pose and focus on the many advantages that museums and collections offer in this space.

4th March, 10am - 11.45am

Do you have an object entry or acquisition and accessioning issue you’d like to troubleshoot with sector colleagues? Or would you like to learn about the Spectrum procedures from a practical perspective?

We will take a scenario discussion approach to explore issues related to object entry and acquisition and accessioning. 
7th April, 10am - 4pm

The third Regional Collections Symposium will take place at the University of Lincoln on Thursday 7th April. Greener Museums will be one of the main themes of the day.

The day will include a range of regional and national speakers, case studies from across the sector and a tour of the conservation labs at the University. It will provide information on current and emerging practice focusing on sustainability and representation. As well as practical advice and inspirational case studies to suit all sizes of museums.
26th April 10am -12.30pm
Join MDEM and museum boards from across the region for a focused training session looking at diversity and inclusive practice at a governance level.
Particular insight and focus will be given to the following topics:
  • Gain an understanding of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Analyse and evaluate diversity strands outside of the Equality Act (Different types and categories of diversity)
  • Understanding the unconscious bias spectrum
  • What is microaggression and what are the types of microaggression?
  • Looking at best practices in other sectors and putting forward solutions
At the session you will gain practical insight into how to move forward practice in this area for your organisation, as well as be able to share your own experiences alongside museums from across the region.
27th April 2pm – 4.30pm
This session will focus on Collections Development Policy specifically for museum Trustees, exploring its role in the museum, how to develop one, and its value to the museum in a practical sense. We will consider themes relevant to the policy such as organisation responsibilities and evaluating the current state of collections.
18th May, 10am - 11.30am

A short and informal online session that gives a chance for museum staff and volunteers across the East Midlands to come together to share what they have been doing with regards to school visits and outreach sessions.

New members are always welcome, and you can simply join the network by visiting our website.

18th May, 2-4pm

This session will explore the management and documentation involved with the acquisition and accessioning of objects, using the Spectrum 5.0 procedures as a framework.
  • How do you manage objects coming into your organisation?
  • Do you have problems with unsolicited donations and what can you do with the stuff you don’t want?
  • What is important in acquisition-related decision-making?
8th June, 2-4pm

This session will explore the management and documentation involved when borrowing and lending objects, using the Spectrum 5.0 procedures as a framework:
  • Loans in – managing objects you borrow for a fixed period of time and for a specific purpose.
  • Loans out – assessing requests for you to lend your objects and managing the lending process until loans are returned to you.
Other Events and Resources
This new publication by Lorraine Finch is available free of charge on her website.  Lorraine is a conservator and co-founder and Chair of the Institute of Conservation’s, Environmental Sustainability Network. She is a member of the Climate Heritage Network and a signatory of the Terra Carta. Lorraine works closely with the environmental sustainability groups and movements in cultural heritage.

The book is packed with tips for how to reduce your impact on the climate and the environment covering:
  • Equipment and Materials
  • Energy
  • Water
  • In your studio … the collection, your office and the kitchen
  • Digital
  • Travel and transport
  • Money
  • Inspiring others/Influencing stakeholders/Changing behaviour
  • Recycling
Click here to visit Lorraine's website and download the publication free of charge

The British Museum’s National Programmes team invite you to contribute to the Museum Futures Summit: a day of online presentations, workshops, discussion and debate marking ten years of National Lottery Heritage Fund Skills for the Future programming on the 8 March 2022 (please note date change).
The Museum Futures Summit aims to explore the impact and key learning outcomes of paid entry-level training programmes designed to increase the diversity and accessibility of the cultural heritage sector. This includes Skills for the Future programmes across the UK, as well as apprenticeships, internships and other paid entry routes into the sector.
We want to convene a national conversation to share and learn from the people involved – and look ahead to the challenges and opportunities for continuing this vital work for the sector.

We seek contributions from across the UK arts and cultural heritage sector through critical and reflective presentations, case studies, workshops and practical examples. We warmly invite you to take part.

You can find out further information by clicking here.

Deadline for submissions Monday 31 January 2022


The museum sector has a large carbon footprint, accounting for almost a quarter of the CO2e emissions of all Arts Council England NPOs. Once you factor in independent museums, national museums, council-led museums, university museums, historic properties, and regimental museums, you get a sense of the size of the sector’s footprint. As in all sectors, there is a clear need to act now to reduce Carbon Emissions and limit the dangerous impacts of climate change.

The Carbon Literacy for Museums Toolkit is a powerful resource for your museum’s climate action journey – empowering your staff and offering them the skills and confidence needed to take impactful action within your museum. This is achieved through the practical and relevant content within the Toolkit, which provides learners with evidenced examples of carbon reduction actions in the sector, and offers learners the opportunity to develop ideas and solutions alongside other sector professionals. Your staff and volunteers will leave with a tangible impression of the difference they can make, and the steps they can take to get them there.

Carbon emission reduction within museums is not the only valuable outcome of Carbon Literacy for Museums. Museums have a distinct place within our communities and wider society. They act as stewards of heritage, culture, nature and more. They tell the most important stories of humans and our planet. And they engage millions of people each year, both physically and digitally, and are widely trusted by their audience. Museums are therefore perfectly placed to engage with climate change and empower people to reduce their emissions. Carbon Literacy for Museums is a valuable tool in this endeavour, in that it empowers your staff, volunteers and trustees to do this work.

News Updates

In 2021, the fossilised remains of Britain’s largest ichthyosaur, colloquially known as the Rutland Sea Dragon, were discovered at the Rutland Water Nature Reserve. The huge skeleton was found during some routine maintenance on the nature reserve, near Egleton, in Rutland.


The ichthyosaur is thought to be the biggest and most complete skeleton of its kind found to date in the UK, and is also thought to be the first ichthyosaur of its species (Temnodontosaurus trigonodon) found in the country. It is approximately 180 million years old, with a skeleton measuring around 10 metres in length and a skull weighing approximately one tonne. 
MDEM and Leicestershire County Council were pleased to support this wonderful discovery through our grants programme. And look forward to seeing how this cultural asset continues to shine.

Please see below highlights from the latest DCMS bulletin for the museums and galleries sector on coronavirus. Plan B covid measures in England will be removed, and there will be a return to Plan A. Here is a summary of the changes:

It is important to continue with all the cautious behaviours that help to keep everybody safe:
•    washing hands
•    letting fresh air in
•    getting tested
•    self-isolating if positive
•    and thinking about wearing a face covering in crowded and enclosed settings.

From the start of Thursday next week (27 January) mandatory certification will end.
•    Organisations can choose to use the NHS Covid Pass voluntarily but the government will end the compulsory use of Covid status certification in England.

Working from home
•    From now on, the government is no longer asking people to work from home and people should now speak to their employers about arrangements for returning to the office.

Face coverings
•    From 27 January, once regulations lapse, the government will no longer mandate the wearing of face masks in indoor settings.
•    The government will continue to suggest the use of face coverings in enclosed or crowded places, particularly where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet.

•    It is still a legal requirement for those who have tested positive for Covid to self-isolate.
•    The isolation period was reduced on Monday to five full days with two negative tests.
•    The self-isolation regulations expire on 24th March, at which point the government expects not to renew them.
Job and Volunteering Opportunities 

Hours: Part time, permanent

Salary: £18,401 - £20,507 (FTE) / £11,040 - £12,304 (pro rata)
Closing Date: 3rd February 2022 (midnight)

The Fundraising and Communications Assistant is a pivotal role that looks after our growing community of supporters. You will work flexibly at our Museum and Art Gallery, Museum of Making and from home and will help implement our fundraising strategy, with a particular focus on looking after our Buy a Bird and Adopt an Object supporters.

For more information click here


Hours: Part time, fixed term (2 years)

Salary: c. £40,000 (pro rata, dependent on experience)
Closing Date: 28th January 2022

Newark and Sherwood District Council are now recruiting for an Operations Manager for Historic Buildings. This role will focus on helping people to enhance their lives through history, culture and the arts. 

The Operations Manger will be part of the team ensuring the smooth delivery of the cultural programme, events, exhibitions and daily operation across Newark Castle, the National Civil War Centre and the Palace Theatre, Newark.

For an informal chat or more information, please contact Rose Maxwell, Senior Operations Manager on 01636 655733.

To apply, please visit: where you can apply online via the Jobs Go Public website or email: for an application pack.


Hours: Part time, fixed term (2 years)

Salary: c. £40,000 (pro rata, dependent on experience)
Closing Date: 28th January 2022

The Friends of Bennerley Viaduct are delighted to be able to offer a part-time post of Project Manager from 1st March 2022 for two years, to deliver a project (‘Bridging the Gap’) which is part-funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Project Manager will have overall day-to-day responsibility for managing the delivery of the project, and will report directly to the Chair of the FoBV and steering group. The successful applicant will chair regular project meetings and produce monthly progress reports for the various stakeholders.

For more information and to apply, please see:


Strategic Manager

£32K pro rata (£12,106, 14 hrs pw)
With experience in strategic management in the culture, public or voluntary sector, you will provide overall direction and management of Epworth Old Rectory, enthusing staff and volunteers in its vision and developing its strategy to fulfil its aims and ambitions. 

Visits and Collections Manager
£26K pro rata (£17,563, 25 hrs pw)
With experience in management of museum collections and public engagement through a range of media, you will be responsible for the visitor experience on site and online, collections care, audience development and volunteer management for Epworth Old Rectory. 
Find out more at:

Deadline for both applications: 31 January
Royal Regiment of Fusilier Museum (Warwick): Museum Manager

Job Type: Full time, fixed term (until July 2024 with expectation of continuation)
Salary: £25-30,000
Closes: 28th January 2022 (11:59pm)

The Fusilier Museum Warwick displays and interprets the artefacts associated with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. The museum is moving from the current location on the outskirts of town to Pageant House, Jury Street in the centre of town.

The charity is seeking a Museum Manager prior to the move to enable the future incumbent to become immersed in the museum and feel that they have been instrumental in the future processes and development. The manager will be responsible for all facets of the museums management and will report to a Board of Trustees.

For more information and how to apply, please write to Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) John Rice at:


Job Type: Permanent annualised hours
Salary: £22,112 inclusive of allowances
Closes: 31st January
We are the charity who look after and bring to life 2,000 miles of waterways across England and Wales, because we believe that life is better by water. Every role across the Trust plays its part in transforming our canals and rivers into spaces where local people want to spend time and feel better, bringing wellbeing benefits to millions.


Our Duty Managers (2 posts) will join a small, friendly team at the historic waterside attraction, The Canal Museum, (Northamptonshire) home of the country’s first ever canal museum, based in the heart of the idyllic village of Stoke Bruerne which is over 200 years old.  These 2 posts will play a critical role in helping us to deliver a world class visitor experience ensuring our visitors have an unforgettable time,  whether they are visiting our new café, shop, museum or coming to one of our events.  If you love working with people and want to ensure every visit to us is special then this could be for you.

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.