On Saturday 28 November, the volunteer programme were delighted to welcome 22 pupils from Caldew School to complete a day of ‘Social Action’ at Tullie House as the culmination of their National Citizen Scheme Award.
Nicky and John tell us about their day at Tullie and the work towards their award.
Last Saturday we completed our social action project at Tullie House Museum. As a group we developed and participated in three activities. The focus of the day was thinking about visitors from the community with visual impairment. This meant that one group created a sensory space in the garden, and another group researched and wrote scripts then recorded audio ‘labels’ for the Social History gallery. Finally the third and smallest group produced an NCS display, highlighting what the NCS programme involves and has to offer all young people.
To give you some background, the NCS stands the National Citizen Service award and is open for all 16-17 year olds across England and Wales. It is a journey through a series of phases with its ethos being based on:
- Social mix
- Social action
All of us who complete the NCS journey are awarded with a certificate signed by David Cameron (prime minister). However the skills and knowledge that we gain on the route are extremely valuable to wherever our futures lead.
We are all year 12 pupils from Caldew School. The start of the course saw us go to Lockerbie Manor, an outdoor pursuits centre where we did a range of activities designed to build up our confidence and communication skills. Then over the Autumn half term we visited various places within Carlisle and improved our understanding of the local community. We also took inspiration from the local organisations which eventually led us to taking part in a social action project at Tullie House Museum.
Davie, one of the students summed their wish to participate perfectly saying “I’m here to give something back to the community” a sentiment echoed by all the students.
John Sander the NCS Co-ordinator from Carlisle United had these further comments to make:
“I am thrilled that the group have chosen to work in partnership with the city’s leading tourist attraction. The confidence and inspiration they will gain as this project develops will not only have a big effect on their futures but it will be something that they will always remember. Hopefully their endeavours both in raising the funding and then working at the museum will also have a long, lasting and beneficial effect on the city and people of Carlisle”
John Sander added:
“For most of these sixth formers who attend Caldew School the NCS journey has been a life changing experience. This relatively new government initiative has improved their employability and allowed the young people to build friendships and memories on both the away and home residential experiences that will last for ever. The work at Tullie House is now the icing on the cake that allows all these students to graduate”
What Nicky and John didn’t mention in their text above is that they also carried out fundraising that meant Tullie House was able to benefit from £200 worth of plants for the garden and further £600 for the museum. It is my intention to see these funds used to continue the work you have started.
I was very pleased to host these students and enable them to complete their award. In addition, they have made a real contribution to their museum and created superb resources for visitors to enjoy for years to come. It was a privilege for me work with these students who gave up their Saturday and worked solidly throughout the day to achieve their aims – even in the rain! Well done and thank you all!.
Claire – Volunteer Co-ordinator
The treasure trove store of over 7000 boxes of archaeological material has been the destination for our team of dedicated volunteers.
Working alongside Tim, the curator of archaeology, the team are well underway with the huge task of creating a comprehensive inventory of this diverse material.
As well as displaying objects, Tullie House also stores for future reference and research finds from many of the excavations carried out in north Cumbria. From boxes of animal bone and pottery sherds to the finest gold jewellery it all finds its way here, all providing the evidence for our unwritten past.
Managing this volume of material is a big job and one that one archaeology curator cannot carry out alone, so this is why we are so grateful to the hardy team of volunteers who give up their time to assist with this task. It could not be done without them.
I went down the store to meet up with the team to see their progress, and they showed me some of their favourite finds so far.
This “amazing find!”… “It’s so complete and readily identifiable as Mercury”.
This coin is great condition, as you can see from its packaging it was found during the excavation of Annetwell Street during the redevelopment of Tullie House.
An almost complete Roman iron lamp from the Millennium excavations, again close to Tullie House. Found from the area where the steps from the underpass come up in front of Carlisle Castle.
And Tim, with a relatively modern (19th century?) teaspoon proving that it doesn’t have to be 1000s of years old to be significant to archaeologists!.
Thank you Pam, Diana, Kath, Siriol, Chloe and Sally for all your hard work on this collection!
Claire, Volunteer Co-ordinator
As we’re in the middle of national volunteer week, we thought it was a great opportunity to celebrate and offer a very warm and heartfelt thank you to the 59 volunteers who have contributed to Tullie House over the last year.
Your support over the last 12 months has made a real difference to the 250,000 visitors who enjoy and learn from your museum.
Tullie House has volunteers?
Many don’t realise that Tullie House is a charity, and along with most other charities it welcomes the support of volunteers. There are a number of services that we could not offer if people were not prepared to give up their time. Volunteers form an integral part of our team and work and show us that successful volunteering isn’t just about getting a job done but it’s about local people getting involved with their museum and supporting their community.
How do volunteers help?
Over the past 12 months volunteers have supported the museum in so many ways. In the early part of the year 12 volunteers met with our visitors to carry out surveys to find out about their time in the museum. The information gathered is being used by us to make sure we’re providing the services people want.
Towards the end of the year, we started a new project to inventory over 8000 boxes of archaeological material. Through their work our team of seven volunteers are helping us plan for future collection needs and find the next treasures to go on display.
We also have many long-serving volunteers who give their time tirelessly to keep our gardens lovely for all to enjoy and our longest serving volunteer who has contributed regularly for over 25 years to catalogue our collections.
In addition, there are volunteers who help deliver activity sessions for visitors in the museum, and those behind the scenes at the Cumbria Biodiversity Diversity Centre. In my new quarterly blog posts I’ll introduce you to the volunteers we have at Tullie House and the difference they make to our museum and the communities we serve.
Volunteering is a way of joining in and making a difference. It’s also a great way for volunteers to develop and share skills. So if you’ve been inspired and would like to get involved or find out more please visit our website.
To all our current and previous volunteers: thanks for all that you do, whether it’s out in the garden on a rainy Tuesday, creating inventories of our thousands of boxes of archaeological collections or meeting visitors to find out about their time in the museum; we wouldn’t want to do it without you.
Claire, Volunteer Co-ordinator
This may be the last week of THe Shed but we’re not winding down yet.
This last Monday we held a celebration party to thank everyone who helped make the 16 different projects unique and worthwhile. I’m still totting up the final numbers, but so far there have been over 200 people who have directly participated with several thousand who have come to see the exhibitions. Once all the data is in I will blog about this some more.
All of the people who were involved – and we had a contact for – were invited to come along and help us enjoy some yummy food and get into the party spirit in a special evening opening of the galleries.
We had a lovely comment on Facebook after the party, with Sarah, one of the contributors to Making a Festive Exhibition of Yourself saying
“Just wanted to say thank you very much for having us all this evening. The food was gorgeous and it was so nice being able to show Harry’s Daddy around the museum as well.”
If you have taken part and want to tell us about your experience then I’d love to hear from you #THShed or message us on Facebook or leave your comment below.
There is still time to come and see what you have been missing. Life, Laws and Legacies with Carlisle’s original Tudor Dormont book is still on show alongside some review panels of some of our past projects alongside our fabulous museum collection objects in What’s in Store.
Make this last chance count!
There’s a fantastic opportunity to get your photographs on show in THe Shed. Maybe you just prefer to see what everyone else has been up to… Guest blogger Catherine tells you about the latest project to go on show and how you can get involved.
The latest instalment in THe Shed is our Roman Photobomb exhibition which was designed and co-curated by our Yak Yak youth panel.
The group are inviting visitors to take a mini roman to their favourite places in the county and then send us their photos to go on display in the museum.
The group also picked every-day objects with some significance to them, and our curator of archaeology found the Roman equivalents in our collection. In the exhibition, these objects sit side by side for visitors to make comparisons between old and new.
The exhibition is running for just one more week, so pick up a mini Roman today, and send us your photos to see your picture on display in Tullie House.
A few posts ago I mentioned that we’re putting together the plans for THe Shed end of show party. We could do things the conventional way and ask an entertainer to come in do their stuff, but we do things THe Shed way so we’re handing over the entertaining to you!
Do you (or someone you know) have a talent that you’d like to showcase at THe Shed party? Perhaps you’d like to show a piece of your art work, perform with your a cappella group or play some original acoustic music.
Maybe you’re an actor and can perform a dramatic monologue or poetry, or are part of a dance troop. Or something much
more interesting I haven’t thought of. Whatever it is you can do – we want to help you to celebrate it.
So if you’d like to get involved this is what you need to do: Make a video or take a picture and tweet it using #THShed. If we, or @tulliehouse followers, really like what you’re doing you can come and take part. If your talent relates to Carlisle and/or Tullie House then all the better.
There are a few things to note:
I’ll tweet from @tulliehouse on Thursday 12 March to ask if you’d like to come along and perform on the party night on Monday 23 March.
There isn’t a lot of space and we can’t make lots of noise so bear this in mind. We can make room for up to 7 people in a group and please assume there will be no access to electricity or a PA system.
Don’t be shy, entertain us!
If you don’t want to get involved in this way then you can follow the videos on @tulliehouse or come and see our brand new exhibition Roman Photobomb in THe Shed.
Bye for now. Claire.