By Ben Egginton
Volunteers at Wolverhampton Art Gallery celebrated their achievements this week at a special event to thank them for their help.
The Mayor and Mayoress of Wolverhampton attended the annual Volunteer Christmas Celebration, which took place on Tuesday, giving people the opportunity to meet fellow volunteers.
People who help on the front of house team, installing exhibitions and conducting curatorial research were all present.
And the mayor, Councillor Phil Page, wasn’t short on praise.
He said: “Wolverhampton would not exist without volunteers.
“The Art Gallery is very important for the citizens of Wolverhampton, because we need to celebrate our history and make sure future generations know about it.”
The Art Gallery’s Cultural Learning and Volunteering Officer, Marie, added: “It was lovely to see everyone and have the mayor along.
“We value the contribution of volunteers in supporting paid staff.”
But it’s not just the city that benefits from their hard work. The volunteers themselves have much to gain from getting stuck in.
Michelle, a volunteer involved in the Art Gallery’s Queen Street exhibition, said: “I love history and have been given the opportunity to do things I’ve never done before.
“The gallery also provided me with training in preventive conservation, oral history and exhibition labelling.”
Other volunteers explained it’s a great way to socialise.
One front of house volunteer said: “The gallery is something too many people take for granted.
“When my mother passed away, I felt very isolated and volunteering has given me a chance to start afresh and meet new people.”
The volunteer Christmas Celebration has been held annually since 2015.
It is organised by Wolverhampton City Council and Wolverhampton Art Gallery’s Curatorial and Cultural Learning Team.
There are currently some 40 volunteers working at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton City Archives and Bantock House.
For more information about volunteering opportunities, click here.