Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Me at Coffine Works_AMHayes_2015-12-12_WEBSML

Merry Christmas! (c) Ann Marie Hayes

This time last year, Jenni Waugh Consulting Ltd was a very new creation – a big step into the future for my career as a consultant.

It’s been a really good year for me, professionally, and for the company. We’ve taken on a number of interesting and challenging jobs, attracted new clients, and embarked upon new contracts that will keep us busy for the next 18 months.

I’d really like to thank you, both clients and supporters, for the work, the advice, the recommendations and the really really brilliant conversations.

Amongst the hard graft, there’s been a number of high points, the apotheosis being a proud trustee at the Heritage Angels award ceremony in London, when Birmingham Conservation Trust won the People’s Choice award for the restoration of the Coffin Works.

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The team from Birmingham Conservation Trust with the award for the Coffin Works restoration.

Working with two community groups from Pershore to win £20,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund so that they could realise their desire to research the WW1 Home Front in the town was another treat.  I can’t tll you how relieved I was to get the award letter – I would have hated to let them down.  We’re now building their work into a much larger public engagement programme with the University of Worcester and uncovering some wonderful stuff.

Evaluating projects around the region is always a joy – the content of the activity, the nature of the material heritage being celebrated and the diversity of the groups, ensure that no two are the same.  Work on the Mingana manuscripts project for the University of Birmingham has been slightly disrupted this year by the ‘once in ten archivists’ lifetimes’ discovery of Qu’ranic manuscripts dating back to the lifetime of the prophet.  It’s meant a new and exhilarating turn in the project activity and I look forward to seeing what happens next.

On the other hand, I have been working intensively on different projects with groups of dementia care home residents and with young people with learning disabilities.  The impact of participation and engagement in heritage and arts activity is making a difference to their quality of life and I am filled with admiration at the talent, determination and effort of all involved.

Everyday, it’s a privilege to work with and for such creative, innovative and committed people, and I love every minute.  Even the data entry!

Please continue to be excellent, over this Christmas time and into the New Year.  I look forward to more in 2016!

REVIEW OF THE YEAR

ONGOING INTO 2016

  • Museums Worcestershire: evaluation of the 3-year, HLF-funded Skills for the Future Traineeship programme, Growing Worcestershire’s Treasures
  • Culture Coventry: evaluation of the wellbeing and learning outcomes of the Esmee Fairbairn -funded Creative Bridges programme of creative and employability skills training for young people with learning disabilities
  • University of Birmingham: evaluation of the wellbeing and learning outcomes of the Mingana MSS community engagement project
  • Museums Worcs and Wychavon District Council: evaluation of wellbeing outcomes of arts & reminiscence activity in residential dementia care homes
  • University of Worcester: Sessional Lecturer for the Institute of Humanities & Creative Arts
  • H&W Earth Heritage Trust: ongoing archive research activity, volunteer training and support in research skills (online and in archives/libraries) for the Building Stones project
  • University of Worcester, Pershore WI and Pershore Heritage & History Society: fundraiser and project manager of WW1 in the Vale, a community heritage project investigating food production in Pershore during World War One (so far, £20,000 raised from HLF and £15,000 from AHRC)

COMPLETED IN 2015

  • Evaluation of the HLF-funded Medieval Abberley Revealed community archaeology project (2014-2015).
  • Training delivery in community archive management, historical research skills, community heritage project management, blog development and social media marketing
  • Evaluation programme for Birmingham Conservation Trust’s HLF-funded redevelopment of the Coffin Works; and support for delivery of community activity programme (2014)
  • Review of Museum Development activity in the West Midlands, for The Marches Curators, (2012-2015)
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Thanks for helping us to #bringitbackforBrum

DSCN5972crop It’s time to ease your suspense, following my last post, asking for your votes.

Yes!  Thank you all you wonderful peeps.  As a result of your support and enthusiasm, Birmingham Conservation Trust won the Heritage Angel, Historic England and Telegraph People’s Favourite award for our restoration of the Newman Brothers Coffin Works.

It’s a long title, but a very worthwhile prize that means a great deal to all of us, as you can see from the short film I made of the acceptance speeches made by Simon Buteux and Elizabeth Perkins, respectively our current and former Directors, who have worked to hard to see the restoration project succeed.

The Heritage Angel Awards are organised by Historic England and sponsored by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation.  As a result, Sir Andrew’s Foundation paid for 12 of the BCT team to attend the ceremony in the Palace Theatre, London, on 7 September 2015.

Consequently, as well as bringing along the BCT staff, and Jane Arthur, chair of the BCT Board, Simon was able to invite the project manager, Kate Dickson, project architect, Ed Kepczyk, another trustee, (me!), and 3 volunteers: David, Pam and Owen.

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The ceremony provided a great opportunity to see the high standard of exciting restoration work taking place around the country.  After the show, we mingled with the other nominees at a reception, where we snaffled as many mini-cones of fish & chips as we could, whilst comparing notes and sharing tales of restoration highs and lows.
Two days later, an article about our success appeared in the Daily Telegraph – considering he was interviewing 12 very over-excited people, the journalist did a remarkably accurate job!

We are very grateful to you, our friends and supporters, as well as those of Heritage England and the readers of the Telegraph, for voting so strongly in our favour.  Please do come and visit us now so that you can see the award you helped us to win!

Because you’re worth it!

heritagetourismhlfThe updated Economic Impact Toolkit: West Mids DIY version is here

In a time of financial uncertainty and the ‘downgrading’ of the value of culture, we all need to be able to say with certainty why we are ‘worth it’.

West Midlands Museum Development Officers (WMids MDOs) led the first region-wide survey in 2012 and commissioned me to crunch up the data and see how we had all done.

18 museums replied and demonstrated that in 2011-2012, they contributed over £59 million to the tourism economy. Over Christmas this year WMids MDOs did a quick numbers version, 88 sites responded and showed that museum contribute over £208 millions to the economy in 2012-2013!

Now AIM (Association of Independent Museums) has updated their formulae using government GreenBook statistics.  The WMids MDOs have commissioned me to translate the revised formulae for the West Mids into the attached spreadsheets so that all you need to do is put in the raw numbers, letting Excel do the rest!

With just 4 sets of numbers you will be able to calculate your  impact both regionally and in your local area on:

  • local tourism income
  • local employment figures
  • the economic impact of your expenditure on goods  services in the local area
  • the value of the effort contributed by your volunteers

You are free to use these spreadsheets at ANY time, for your own use…. 

However, as a BIG FAVOUR, I would ask that as many of you as possible complete the relevant spreadsheet by April 18th and send it to back to me.  I shall be collating it all in order to create printed pieces of advocacy for the region and each county …don’t let your impact be left out .

The spreadsheet should be self explanatory, please try to fill in all sheets, save it and send it it me by email.  It has been designed with museums in mind, but there is no real reason why archive or built heritage organisations should not use it.

If you are a large museum, with 50,000  visitors per annum, please use this worksheet: CALCULATE YOUR IMPACT_LARGE museums toolkit_2014_FINAL

If you are a small or medium size museum, with fewer than 49,999 visitors per annum, please use this worksheet: CALCULATE YOUR IMPACT_SMALL-MEDIUM museums toolkit_2014_FINAL

I know this will be a really valuable tool for you all – if you have any queries please contact me.