Cottage Museum receives Award for Excellence
The Cottage Museum received the prestigious Award for Excellence at the bi-annual Lincolnshire Heritage Award Ceremony which took place at Gainsborough Old Hall on the 10th July 2014. The museum was also highly commended for the Inspiration award category for their submission ‘The Future of Woodhall Spa Museum. The awards celebrate the work taking place in museums, historic houses and heritage sites across the county. This year the entries were judged by David Sleight (Dean of Public Engagement, University of Lincoln, Emma Tatlow (Visit Lincoln Partnership Manager) and Steve LeMottee (Executive Director of East Midland Museum Service). The Cottage Museum recently underwent a significant redevelopment supported by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Jackie Goodall, who played a key role in the redevelopment and is closely involved with a variety of heritage initiatives, was presented with an award to acknowledge her ‘outstanding contribution to Lincolnshire Heritage’.
Timeline of Awards and Achievements
Woodhall Spa Cottage Museum has an exemplary track record of delivery. Volunteers engage in opportunities presented but don’t overstretch themselves. Plans are measured and exciting and push the boundaries of a volunteer run museum. Projects aim to raise awareness of, and access to, the collection and the facilities that are on offer. The success of this approach and the work of the volunteers has resulted in the following achievements:
- The TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence was awarded to the Woodhall Spa Cottage Museum as a result of the excellent feedback provided by our numerous visitors who obviously enjoyed their time whilst viewing our exhibits. This also reflects well on our Visitor Services staff and the knowledgeable volunteers that have acted as Meeters and Greeters over the year.
- At the Lincolnshire Heritage Awards 2016 our Unsung Hero, Ken Mair, was recognised with a Highly Commended award for all his efforts throughout the museum carrying out maintenance and improvement tasks.
- September – the John Barker Trophy, Community Building Volunteer Award was presented to Rodger Pickavance. The award is presented by Community Lincs annually and recognises the work of those volunteers who, willingly and freely, give their time and effort to manage and maintain Lincolnshire community buildings. Rodger was the development project leader for the work mainly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund grant.
- July – the Education Programme won the prestigious Sandford Award for Heritage Education. It recognises and promotes quality and excellence in education provision across the Heritage Sector. Volunteers at the Cottage Museum worked towards the Sandford Award over the course of the past two years.
- June – the Cottage Museum won the award for Customer Care at the East Midlands Heritage Awards which recognise excellence and innovation at museums across the region. The Cottage Museum was also shortlisted for the Award for Engaging Children and Young People for it’s young Person’s Museum Guide and the Wendy Golland Award for Quality Research for its research into the history of The Petwood Gardens.
- September – as part of the 70th anniversary of WWII’s Battle of Arnhem in the Netherlands, a day of events to honour the brave servicemen who took part, was organised by the museum. Hundreds of veterans, dignitaries and families gathered in Woodhall Spa on September 6th to commemorate the region’s involvement.
The event was co-ordinated by Jackie Goodall with the help of a team of volunteers from the museum and the local communities in and around Woodhall Spa. The Arnhem Commemoration Day was funded and supported by the Armed Forces Covenant, The Woodhall Spa Parish Council, The Veteran Regimental Associations’ family and friends, East Lindsey District Council and Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage.
- July – Young People’s Guide was launched. The project aim was to produce a museum guide, the format and content created by pupils from local schools and young visitors to the museum.
- July – the Cottage Museum achieved success at the Lincolnshire Heritage Awards and was the winner of the Excellence Award and highly commended in the Inspiration Award category for its project – The Future of Woodhall Spa Cottage Museum.
- July – Jackie Goodall (former museum chairman) was awarded a Judge’s Special Award for an ‘outstanding contribution to Lincolnshire Heritage’ at the same award ceremony.
- October – the Cottage Museum retained its Accredited Museum status.
- June – the Cottage Museum was awarded the ‘Best Event Award’ at the Lincolnshire Heritage Awards Ceremony for the organisation of the People’s Pageant in July 2011.
- December – the Cottage Museum was awarded a grant from the the Heritage Lottery Fund following a Round 2 application.
- The Cottage Museum successfully completed the Renaissance East Midlands (REM) Flagship Volunteers Programme.
- The Cottage Museum initiated, formed and chaired a community steering group to organise the bi-centenary celebration of the finding of the Spa waters and hence the beginning of the village, held on July 9th. The group raised in excess of £5000, ensured that all community groups could participate and raise money for their causes free of charge and provided free live entertainment that appealed to all ages. The local Get Away Club (adults with special needs) volunteered to perform and have now agreed to become involved with museum consultations regarding access. The village had over three thousand visitors on the day resulting in a strong economic impact for local businesses and community groups.
- A partnership was made with a local group who support vulnerable families in danger of being split up. The museum trialled a volunteer placement of a vulnerable young single parent who has learning disabilities. The devised programme of activities is working well and has encouraged the volunteer to remain in the village and develop a stable routine.
- The project to erect a memorial stone dedicated to soldiers from the 1st Air Landing Brigade who were based in the village and sent to Arnhem, resulted in new audiences. Veteran groups associated with Arnhem supported the dedication service and have ‘adopted’ the museum. There is now an annual memorial day to continue the links.
- Participation in the Renaissance East Midlands (REM) MuBu and Volunteer Flagship projects resulted in the appointment of the museum’s first young director, new links developed with young people involved with the Air Training Cadets in Horncastle and Coningsby and Duke of Edinburgh Award students volunteer placements with the museum.
- Jackie Goodall (museum chairman) was awarded the East Midland’s Marsh Trust Award by the British Museum for inspirational volunteering.
- The Cottage Museum achieved the standard required for a ‘Quality Assured Visitor Attraction’ through Visit England’s Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme (VAQAS)
- The Cottage Museum was awarded the ‘Rosie Award’ for Dog-Friendliness, the first museum in Lincolnshire to receive the award.
- The professional training received by volunteers through the Renaissance East Midlands (REM) workforce development programme and East Midlands Museum Service (EMMS) enabled the museum to accommodate its first heritage degree work placement students.
- The Cottage Museum received the Renaissance East Midlands (REM) Lincolnshire Heritage Award for the best use of the Lincolnshire Heritage Forum website through the sale of our DVD which introduced e-commerce.
- The Cottage Museum received the Renaissance East Midlands (REM) Lincolnshire Heritage Award for Best Event for the Treasure Box project involving over thirty community groups and the village primary school in the preparation of an exhibition and web site promoting the village and raising awareness that new minority groups were taking up residence in the village
- The Cottage Museum became the first independent museum in Lincolnshire to achieve accreditation status under the national Museums, Libraries and Archives (MLA) Council Accreditation Scheme.
- The standard required for a Quality Assured Visitor Attraction Scheme (VAQAS) was achieved.
- Renaissance East Midlands (REM) Lincolnshire Heritage Award for Inspiration for the Creating Memories project that involved five local primary schools in forming the 2007/8 photographic archive reflecting young people’s views of the community.