How volunteers benefit our cultural life

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​Scale, scope and impact of volunteering in Scotland's museums and galleries revealed

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19th March 2015 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

The importance of volunteers to Scotland’s museums and art galleries has been recognised in a new report.

It shows the scope, scale and impact of volunteering in the arts sector.

Commissioned by Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS), the study shows there is a high engagement of volunteers in Scotland’s museums and galleries – 94% of which use voluntary help.

The research also found that volunteer numbers have increased, while the number of paid staff remained constant and that older, retired volunteers had strong altruistic motivations while the motives of younger people were largely intellectual and economic.

Almost every volunteer agreed that working at the museum or gallery had been an enjoyable experience and 72% said it had improved their social life.

This shows the positive impact of volunteers and demonstrates that they are fundamental to the sustainability of many museums and galleries

Meanwhile, 93% agreed that volunteering had increased their knowledge of local history and 73% said it had provided them with new skills

Joanne Orr, CEO of MGS, said: “This research evidences the positive impact of volunteers on the sector and demonstrates that they are actually fundamental to the viability and sustainability of many museums and galleries. 

“The findings underline the importance of the investment MGS already makes in supporting volunteering within the sector, and reinforces the value of continued support for volunteers to help them better serve the needs of our museums and galleries and, through them, the communities they represent.”