(From left) Sinead O’Haire, of the Marsh Charitable Trust, deputy Chair of the British Museum Muriel Gray with Sam Powell. Photograph ©Egypt Centre.

A long-standing volunteer has been honoured for her dedication to Swansea University’s award-winning Egypt Centre.

Former University student Sam Powell was awarded the prestigious Welsh Regional Marsh Award for Museum Learning in a ceremony held at the British Museum.

She started volunteering at the Egypt Centre as an undergraduate and returned during her postgraduate degree at Swansea. Since then, she has proved to be an incredible asset to the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, with her talent, ability and passion for the teaching and learning of ancient Egypt coming to the fore, particularly during the pandemic.

During this time Sam moderated online Egyptology courses, fundraising events and conferences, created and hosted online quizzes as well as writing blogposts and proofreading others’ work for the Egypt Centre Collections Blog. 

She presented centre research at the museum’s 2020 online conference as well as at other conferences. She was also involved in facilitating the object handling module of the MA Ancient History and Classical Culture.  Sam is also co-chair and events officer for the Friends of the Egypt Centre, which supports the museum’s work.

Her creation of online media such as the ABASET catalogue (an online tool to access all the Egypt Centre’s collection) and Egypt Centre bitesize videos opened up access to the museum’s collection and will remain in the museum’s future activities. In addition Sam’s research on Egypt Centre objects, specifically wooden ancient Egyptian figures, has broadened the knowledge of these items. 

She said: “I'm very grateful to the Egypt Centre for nominating me for this award. The museum has been such an amazing support throughout both my undergraduate and master's degrees at Swansea University, and volunteering has been an incredible opportunity."

Museum Volunteer Manager Syd Howells said without volunteers such as Sam, the Egypt Centre would have struggled during lockdown.

He said: “Through her tireless efforts the Egypt Centre has been kept in the public eye during a difficult time and has served as a kind of virtual community hub for those with an interest in ancient Egypt.

“The commitment Sam has shown has been peerless and the effort she has put into her volunteering has changed how the museum will operate in future.  This is how it should be.  Volunteering can make a difference.”

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