VOLUNTEERS who keep Bexhill Museum operating have been told of their “good-news” year.
They were attending a meeting in the Education Room which reviewed progress and reforms made in 2012 and summarised plans for the 2013 season which opens on Monday, February 4.
The event, which ended with refreshments, was also an opportunity to thank those whose hard work is ensuring the independent, accredited museum’s success.
The Egerton Road museum is almost totally dependent on admission charges for its income.
Chairman John Betts, opening the Saturday, January 26 event by declaring 2012 a “good-news” year, told volunteers that at more than 12,000, visitor numbers were up on the previous year despite the recession. The overall figure inclusive of website hits topped 28,000.
He said: “We are all in this together. We are all volunteers. We volunteer because we love Bexhill Museum…”
The chairman was successful in obtaining Heritage Lottery fund assistance in the form of mentors who have helped frame reforms to increase efficiency.
Operations manager Tony Parker, in a review of the project team’s work, said HLF assistance had given new direction, new focus and new responsibilities.
Curator Julian Porter said it was essential that the museum retained its Arts Council accreditation, without which it would not be able to attract further grant funding. The final stage in renewing accreditation would be the signing of a new lease with Rother council. When an accreditation officer made an official visit on February 22 they would expect to see the reforms were being put into effect.
The major exhibition for 2013 would be Sussex Folklore, Farming and Festivities. Children’s activities would be geared to this.
The museum was fortunate in having obtained on loan from Brighton Museum the locally-discovered Wealden Hoard – a large and extremely important collection of rare Roman coins.Volunteer coordinator Rebecca Parker gave an update on the work of the marketing group.
Volunteer training coordinator Helen Anson, said training was aimed at customer care and the customer experience.
“What you are doing at the moment is very good. But we want to make it exceptionally good.”The morning included summaries of the education group’s work, the youth engagement programme, lectures and walks and outings.