Egypt Centre Manager Wins Independent Museums ‘Fizzers’ Prize

The Egypt Centre’s Front of House & Gift Shop Manager Lauren Wale is ‘bubbling over’ after her first prize win in an independent museums competition.

Lauren won her prize at the Association of Independent Museums (AIM) National Conference ‘Museum Fizzers’ speech contest. 

Lauren Wale Fizzer winner

AIM is a thriving membership network for independent museums, galleries and heritage organisations across the UK. 2017 is AIM’s 40th year, so this year’s National Conference provided a great opportunity to focus on how independents prosper under effective leadership, through inspirational stories from some of its members. ‘Museum Fizzers’ competitors had to speak for three minutes about a project at their museum that they were proud of, or one that had made a positive difference to how they work. The prize was a bottle of champagne to share with their team and a chance to shine the spotlight on their museum.

Lauren’s speech focused on the Egypt Centre’s multi-award winning Young Volunteering programme where young people (ages 9-18) run the museum every Saturday and during school holidays as young professionals without their parents – hence the title of her speech “Where’s my Mummy?”

Egypt Centre Volunteers

The young volunteers provide tours of the galleries; facilitate educational activities such as demonstrating how to mummify a person. They work in the museum gift shop and help run events and even been known to drag people off the streets if it’s a quietish day as they are so keen to share their passion with anyone who will listen! No other museum in the country is run by young people so completely!   

In her speech Lauren pointed out that the Egypt Centre did not need to recruit young volunteers as they currently have 35 children on the books and a waiting list of children who want to take part.  

Lauren said:  “I am so grateful to have been given the chance to talk at such a wonderful conference, and to win was just fantastic!”

“This competition provided me with a platform to gain confidence in speaking to large groups of 300+ people, to tell people within the sector about the amazing work that is going on in our museum, and to inspire others to encourage young people to get involved with their museums”

“Young volunteering is something I am very passionate about. I started volunteering at the age of 15 at The Egypt Centre, I studied Egyptology here at Swansea University, and now I work at The Egypt Centre as Front of House Manager, so I have seen and felt the impact volunteering can have, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without it”

“I had many people talking to me after my speech saying how I inspired them, one lady even mentioned she had shed a tear as she had been so moved by what I had said.”

A full copy of Lauren’s speech is available on request.

  • The Association of Independent Museums (AIM) is a thriving membership network for independent museums, galleries and heritage organisations across the UK. For more Information about AIM go to  https://www.aim-museums.co.uk/
    AIM’s National Conference was held this year at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham from 22 – 24 June. For more information about the Conference go to :https://aimnationalconference.wordpress.com/

  • The Egypt Centre, based at the Swansea University Singleton Campus, holds the largest collection of Egyptian antiquities in Wales, with over 2000 ancient objects on display. There are lots of hands on activities available including playing the ancient board game Senet, handling real ancient Egyptian artefacts and learning to write your name in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. You can try your hand at mummification as you practice on our ’dummy-mummy’, have a go at our colouring activities, themed trails, and even dress up and try on ancient Egyptian style clothing.

For current opening times check the website http://www.egypt.swan.ac.uk/ as the Museum will only be open Saturdays from Tuesday 6th June 2017 until further notice due to the refurbishment of the Taliesin Building.

Picture 1: Lauren (middle) with the other Museum Fizzer entrants.

Picture 2: Young Volunteers Alex Lambert (left) and Rhodri Protheroe-Jones (right) in the Egypt Centre.

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