South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries

GEM awarded National Lottery Heritage Fund grant to support learning in museums, heritage and cultural settings

GEM has received £37,400 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to support and upskill many hundreds of heritage professionals and museums/heritage sites throughout the UK as part of the re-opening and recovery of the sector.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown began GEM has been supporting members digitally through informative webinars and pivoting the training programme to be delivered online. Education Skills Sharing Sessions on Twitter connected hundreds of educators across the world in sharing best practice as well as challenges. GEM’s One to One Mentoring Programme was also launched during this time, which has supported 50+ mentees and continues with support from volunteer mentors. GEM has also provided support for freelancers through its membership offer.

Caroline Marcus, Chair of GEM said: “Our aim is to create a stronger GEM for a stronger sector. Never has this been more necessary than during lockdown when, despite significant challenges, GEM responded to support the sector. Described by a member as “a beacon during lockdown” the GEM team created new opportunities to connect and equip the community of people enabling learning across museum, heritage, and cultural settings.

The generous support from NLHF will enable GEM to continue to support and empower our community of colleagues to connect and develop their knowledge and skills to deliver learning. To realise GEM’ s aim, we will respond to community needs by building on our successful new initiatives and further developing new digital training courses and online mentoring.”

The funding, made possible by National Lottery players, was awarded through The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund. £50million has been made available to provide emergency funding for those most in need across the heritage sector.

The UK-wide fund will address both immediate emergency actions and help organisations to start thinking about recovery.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, supporting economic regeneration and benefiting our personal wellbeing. All of these things are going to be even more important as we emerge from this current crisis.

“Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we are pleased to be able to lend our support to organisations such as GEM during this uncertain time.”