National Lottery - Celebrating Treasured and Historic Places

Posted on by Anita O'Donovan

If you’ve visited the museum over the last year, you may well have noticed that we’ve had something of a makeover in an effort to continue to conserve and improve the ways that we are communicating the site’s heritage. Much of the regeneration of the site is thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and is part of our ongoing Coalfield Conversations project. The Hub has been completely transformed, with a brand new welcome area, as well as changes to our map and signage across the site.

One of the biggest changes, however, has been the rapid increase in volunteers that are now part of the museum team. In fact, in such a short amount of time, we’ve gone from having just a few welcome volunteers to 56, and we’re constantly welcoming new people!

The museum now offers fantastic opportunities to cater for a wide range of interests, with volunteers now developing projects in areas such as science, nature and heritage, as well as increasing the number of volunteers we have helping to enhance our visitor welcome and family activities.

One such volunteer is Anna, who regularly helps us out with our weekly activity for under 5s, Wacky Wednesday. Anna, who has previously worked as a Museum educator in her home country of Australia, is currently spending two years in the UK and is now taking the opportunity to volunteer in local venues to continue her own professional development.

As part of the improvements to our visitor welcome, staff and volunteers, including Anna, have been given the opportunity to take part in different training programmes, such as increasing awareness of Science in our everyday lives, as well as autism training.

Here’s what Anna had to say about her experience as a volunteer and how the training has been beneficial to her.

Going forward, we still have tons of ideas to help improve our visitor offer thanks to the funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and you can be a part of it! To discover how you can join our team, check out our website, or, to find out more about the NLHF grant award and the Coalfield Conversations project, see

As a big thank you for all the ways the National Lottery's funding helps support the museum, we will be having a special offer of a free tea/filter coffee in the cafe plus a free copy of Coal Faces Mining Lives: Portraits of an Industry and Its People by Imogen D Townsend from 23 November to 1 December, as well as a tour of our newest exhibition, Digging Deep by its curator, Norma Gregory on Saturday 30th November 2019 at 11am and 1pm. Anyone who visits and presents any National Lottery ticket on these days will be able to take up this special offer. For more details, see


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