What do I do?
In a nutshell…
I work with museums & cultural organisations to help them communicate better and to more people about the great stuff they have and do.
Basically, I love sharing how brilliant our cultural resources are with people who might not have realised what value these things could have for them.
Since leaving Surrey Record Office for the BBC in 2004, I have specialised in audience development, community engagement and marketing for museums, libraries, archives and community groups.
I went freelance in 2009, almost by accident. I was between jobs and a former colleague asked me to do a few days marketing work for the Renaissance WM Family Friendly Network… Then I was asked to give a training workshop… Then the Director of Avoncroft asked me to carry out an Audience Survey as part of the consultation for the next phase of their HLF-funded development… and so it grew!
I have worked for a wide range of clients, largely across the West Midlands, and in a variety of roles:
- Change agent, helping organisations to pinpoint and instigate cultural change
- Facilitator, encouraging teams of staff and volunteers to bring out their best and develop successful funding and accreditation applications
- Researcher, evaluating cultural organisations’ contribution to wellbeing, learning and the regional economy
- Trainer and mentor, specialising in communication, digital media, archive management, community engagement, equality and diversity
- Match-maker, connecting cultural and community organisations to increase the sum of your parts
- Project manager, delivering activities of varying scale and complexity on time and in budget
I have worked on regional and national learning campaigns such as BBC People’s War; created blogsites for Museum of Carpet, the Worcestershire Soldier and the University of Worcester Research Collections; and carried out significant audience surveys for Avoncroft Museum and Wolverhampton Art Gallery.
I love working on evaluation research, as I firmly believe in the value of culture to bring great change and rewards to participants and deliverers alike. In doing this work, I get to hear first-hand of the powerful effect we have on the people we engage with.
I have evaluated projects and activities such as Wolverhampton Heritage & Arts Service’s re-display of its Victorian Galleries and their Arts & Reminiscence work in care homes; as well as Birmingham City Council’s Cultural Partner and Artists in Residence programmes.
I work directly with organisations to help staff and volunteers to develop their own evaluation frameworks and benchmarking activity. I have created evaluation frameworks and question banks for Herefordshire’s Skills for Future programme; Birmingham Conservation Trust’s HLF-funded Coffin Works project; and trained National Trust staff to evaluate their own work.
Used to managing projects of every scale, a high point of my career so far was the creation of the JISC-funded World of Kays website and community programme for the University of Worcester. The website included contributions from former Kays staff, local students, artists, residents and academics. The project featured on the BBC1 Breakfast Show, BBC local radio and created a great of deal of interest online and in the press.
Previous employment: World of Kays Project Manager, University of Worcester; Regional Learning Project Manager and Peoples War Outreach Officer (West Mids), BBC Learning; Access & Social Policy Officer, MLA West Mids; and Archivist, Surrey History Service.
Clients include: Arts Connect West Midlands; The Marches Network; Warwickspace; University of Worcester; Wolverhampton Archives, Museums & Galleries; Birmingham City Council; MLA; and Renaissance West Midlands
- Associate of Volition Associates, 2014
- Trustee of Birmingham Conservation Trust, 2012-present
- Member of National Trust Midlands Advisory Board, 2009-present
Professional qualifications and memberships:
- Level 3 Learning & Development Practice, Chartered Institute of Personnel Development, 2014
- Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development, 2014
- Member of the Museums Association, 2009-present
- Registered member of Archives & Records Association, 2001-present
- Diploma in Archives & Records Management, UCL, 1996