Three cheers for our hundreds of indispensible volunteers

Find out more about the efforts of nearly 700 volunteers, who gave up their time in 2011-12 to help make the Group's work possible.

This year almost 700 individuals volunteered at our museums. They are an increasingly valued resource and we thank them all for helping make our work possible across the Science Museum Group.

Leading the field is the National Railway Museum in York where 300 volunteers gave 29,000 hours of their time to information provision, rail operations, research support, tours and gardening.

Volunteers with a locomotive at the National Railway Museum

The Heritage Railways Association John Coiley Award for Locomotive Preservation (named after the first keeper of the NRM) went to our Deltic Volunteers who spent three years restoring Deltic 55002 King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry to working order. Michael Wallace, Honorary Secretary of the Friends, received an MBE for voluntary services to the NRM. At Shildon, 85 volunteers gave 6500 hours of their time to operating steam train and other visitor services, conservation and care of collections.

A volunteer helps children with a science project.

At the Museum of Science & Industry, Manchester, 111 active volunteers gave 31,000 hours of their time. The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) ambassador programme boasts 787 volunteers supporting schools across Greater Manchester and Manchester Science Festival. At the Science Museum 103 volunteers actively fill 49 different types of position, from ambassadors who work with visitors to specialists helping conserve the Pegasus computer.

At the National Media Museum 66 volunteers gave 4100 hours of their time to assist with research through the Library project and with programmed events.