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University recognised for supporting its volunteers


The Vice-Chancellor, University staff and volunteers at the recent award ceremony

The University of Reading Museums and Special Collections Service (UMASCS) has been recognised for the outstanding opportunities and support it offers its volunteers.

UMASCS has been awarded the Investing in Volunteers Standard from Volunteering England, marking it as an organisation committed to good practice and of volunteering excellence.

To achieve the Standard UMASCS' volunteer programme was closely scrutinised. Volunteer England found that UMASCS ensured volunteers were well-treated, supported and encouraged to develop further skills and that they enjoyed the time they generously give to the University.

Gerry Westall, from Woodley, is UMASCS' longest standing volunteer. He has given up his time for over twenty years and he continues to come in every week.

Gerry said: "I find volunteering at the University Museums and Special Collections Service extremely rewarding and very much feel part of the team. What I enjoy best is the local collections which I have been interested for most of my life. I've been going through the local photos and putting captions underneath, sending them to the local newspapers which are then published. I have learnt a lot and continue to learn."

Rob Davies Volunteer Coordinator for UMASCS, said: "We are delighted to have been awarded the Standard. We are very thankful to all our volunteers who contribute so much to the success of the University museums and upkeep of our wonderful collections. The award proves we are serious about volunteers and that we offer them a first-class environment in which to work and enjoy their time."

The University Museums and Special Collections Service has an extensive volunteering programme. Over one hundred and twenty volunteers engage in a variety of roles and projects and can be seen leading tours, welcoming visitors, assisting with learning activities, providing the Assistant Curator and Conservator with Collections support and helping out at University events.

Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, officially unveiled the Investing in Volunteers Standard plaque at a ceremony on Friday 1 June. Sir David will meet with UMASCS staff and several volunteers from the local community.

For more information about volunteering at the University Museums and Special Collections Services, please contact Rob Davies on

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