The Dacorum Heritage Trust (Ltd) is seeking a permanent Public Engagement Manager to join our Team.

DHT - Job Description - Public Engagement Manager

This is an exciting and dynamic role to develop, deliver, and evaluate DH’s Public Engagement Programme, working in collaboration with our partners and stakeholders to help achieve DH’s ambitions to engage and inspire communities in Dacorum and beyond.

How to Apply

Complete the attached:
DHT - Public Engagement Manager Application Form
DHT - Public Engagement Manager E&D Form
• Send a copy of your CV

Please submit all of the above and any enquiries to AnnaHaynes@dacorumheritage.org.uk by 5pm Thursday 25th April 2024.

Indicative timeline:
• w/c 29th April 2024 Sifting
• w/c 6th May 2024 Interviews
• w/c 13th May 2024 Decision
Please reach out (AnnaHaynes@dacorumheritage.org.uk) if you would like to submit your application in an alternative format.

This week, the Hertfordshire Association of Museums, Heritage Hero award was presented to individuals from museums across the county to recognise the wonderful work they have done supporting museums and communities. One of the recipients was our very own John Lee.

John has been an invaluable asset to our museum, dedicating countless hours over the past 14 years to various tasks, including building exhibitions, speaking to people about our heritage across different audiences and maintaining the building and the collection within it. His passion for our museum and its mission is evident in all that he does. He is always willing to lend a helping hand, whether it be for a special event or day-to-day operations.
John built a real-life replica (to scale) of the Ivory Tower, a very well-known local landmark, for our Hidden Histories: Kodak Exhibition. Using architectural drawings, John built the tower from MDF. It became the centrepiece of our exhibition, on to which people could add their own memories of Kodak in Hemel Hempstead using post-it notes.

John stands grining in front of the completed kodak tower. he wear a red tshirt under a beige coloured jacket. he looks very proud
The completed Ivory Tower for our Hidden Histories of Kodak exhibition of 2019
john is looking down wearing a t shirt. he is outside in front of mdf board cut into pieces and three large pieces are being connected into right angles.
The Ivory Tower being cut and put together prior to our Hidden Histories of Kodak exhibition in 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John played an instrumental part in our 2018 project to create an art installation of 1,087 origami doves. These doves were all folded by the local community to commemorate the end of the First World War. John not only helped people to fold the doves, but he also helped with the final installation in an empty shopping unit.

john sits at a table in front of a young boy. they are both looking down at the table at johns hands where he is showing a folded piece of paper.
Showing a young visitor how to fold a dove for our Commemorating Peacetime in Dacorum exhibition in 2018
john is standing with his back to the camera, holding a tall silver ladder. in the background you can see the blue coloured backdrop of mdf and some white paper origami doves hanging from the ceiling. the white of the doves is in complete contrast to the blue of the backdrop
Building the art installation of origami doves within the The Marlowes Shopping Centre for our Commemorating Peacetime in Dacorum exhibition in 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to his hard work, John is a joy to work with. His positive attitude and enthusiasm are contagious, and he has become an integral part of our museum family. We are truly grateful for the time and effort he has devoted to Dacorum Heritage – and we were delighted to nominate him for this award.
I’m sure you’ll join us as we congratulate John on this achievement.

Dacorum Heritage Awarded £25,965 by Arts Council England, which will help to continue work on the Ovaltine collection.

Dacorum Heritage is excited to announce our success in obtaining match funding from Arts Council England for Dacorum in Ovaltine. This project match-funds the funding Dacorum have received from The Garfield Weston Foundation and allows us to continue with the activities we are currently doing to digitalise and make accessible the Ovaltine Collection.

So far, with the help of funding from Garfield Weston Foundation, we have been able to digitalise some of the cine film in the collection. With the additional funding from the Arts Council England’s Project Grant titled Unlocking Collections, we will be able to now digitalise a collection of LPs. These LPs contain the popular radio show 'The Ovaltineys' and subsequently make the content available online. This will allow people all over the world to access and enjoy a key part of the nation's cultural heritage. Additionally, we will be collaborating with local communities to enable a deeper understanding and enhanced interpretation of the collection. We plan to have pop up reminiscence sessions, recruit volunteers and conduct oral history of those who remember Ovaltine in Dacorum or worked within the factory at Kings Langley.

Thanks to the funding, we are now able to recruit a project support assistant for one year which will have significant positive impact to the project. Allowing us to increase productivity, improve efficiency, and achieve even greater success with your project.

Did you or someone you know work at the Ovaltine factory? or are you are interested in participating in this project and becoming a volunteer oral history recorder? please contact us via info@dacorumheritage.org.uk

Dacorum Heritage Trust Awarded £91,000 by The National Lottery Heritage Fund for Dacorum Heritage 30:30 Development Project

Dacorum Heritage Trust has been granted initial support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to embark on a transformative project, Dacorum Heritage 30:30, announced today. This significant funding of £91,000 will enable the Trust to conduct a comprehensive analysis and planning initiative, shaping the future of heritage services in the Dacorum area.
The Dacorum Heritage 30:30 project, aligning with the Trust's 30th anniversary and projecting 30 years into the future, commences In December, and concludes in April 2024.
This ambitious undertaking involves a series of scoping studies and action plans, including a stakeholder consultation exercise, collections condition review, physical infrastructure requirements statement, volunteer development plan, and fundraising feasibility study. The project aims to address urgent challenges faced by Dacorum Heritage Trust, to ensure a sustainable and conducive home that enables it to operate at its full potential as a heritage facility.
The Dacorum Heritage 30:30 project is not only a response to immediate challenges but also a strategic initiative to create a resilient and relevant heritage service for the Dacorum area.

It aims to:

The Dacorum Heritage 30:30 project aligns seamlessly with broader heritage conservation and community development goals. Following the project, a comprehensive plan will be in place to care for and conserve existing and future collections, identify skill development opportunities for staff, volunteers and the wider community, raise heritage awareness in Dacorum and beyond, and contribute to environmental sustainability and community wellbeing.
Housed in a converted fire station in Berkhamsted since its inception in 1993, the Dacorum Heritage preserves over 130,000 artefacts spanning from Neolithic times to the present day. The collection includes paintings, photographs, documents, archaeology, textiles, and local history artefacts, providing a comprehensive insight into the rich history and culture of the Dacorum area as well as the wider British culture.

Commenting on the award, Fiona Page Chair of the Trustees said, "We’re thrilled to receive this support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. This funding is a crucial step toward securing a vibrant future for Dacorum's heritage, shaped by the voices and visions of our community."

We continue to provide online presentations there are currently two online talks planned for February and May 2024

Tickets are FREE with a donate as much as you want option. All money raised allows us to continue our work to preserve history and inspire communities. Book now via the link below to join the guest list.

Friday 9th February 2024 - 7pm Online Talk - BOOK NOW

Friday 10th May 2024 7pm - Online Talk - A Ovaltine Collection Special BOOK NOW

Comments from pervious online talks 

'loved hearing about the local history and anecdotes and stories of local people and how the town developed and changed.'

'Thank you so very much for a wonderful hour looking at items and information from your store.'

'That was brilliant....it worked really well!'

 

November 2023 is a significant milestone for us, as we mark the completion of year one of our two-year project funded by the Garfield Weston Foundation (GWF) to digitise our Ovaltine collection.
The ambition for the Ovaltine in Dacorum project is to provide the public with improved accessibility to our Ovaltine collection by the digitisation of a total of 10,830 objects, ranging from advertising materials, packaging and artefacts associated with the factory and farm at Kings Langley. Digitisation will enable the public to explore the collection through online and print.

a man in 1950s fashion is fixing a yellow mopehead. A female hand is in shot handing him a blue mug of Ovaltine. The words ovaltine is across the top of the mug
Screenshots to illustrate some of the adverts and short films that have been digitised as part of Ovaltine in Dacorum.

a woman stands in a supermarket speaking and looking directly into the camera. she holds a tin of ovaltine in her right hand. the tin is a warm colour orange and the word ovaltine in blue across the top of the tin. Year one of our two-year funding from the GWF has allowed us to begin these activities. As of November 2023, we have now digitised 150 films from the collection and photographed 233 items.

Our photographer from Sarah Stephens Photography, who has experience in working on museum collections, photographed 233 Ovaltine objects. We tried to photograph the variety of the collection, focusing on packaging and advertising. We also captured some of the items which are much harder to photograph, such as paintings behind glass frames and the larger three-dimensional advertising stands.

We will use these digital assets in year two when we focus on engagement. We are currently in talks with a film making company to create a film with input from young people. Our engagement plans will also include an oral history programme, further development to our website and producing a printed catalogue to make the collection available to those who do not have internet access. Follow us on social media or via our newsletter for more information and updates in 2024.

Our Annual General Meeting

On 2 November 2023, Dacorum Heritage (DH) held their Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Berkhamsted Town Hall. Attended by DH’s Board and Members, the AGM discussed and approved our Annual Report and Financial Statements, which were also independently examined.
We were pleased to approve the appointment of Khaled Galal as our new Director of Communications and Cllr William Allen as our new Director and Dacorum Borough Council Liaison.
Khaled brings decades of experience in communications in arts and culture. He has worked on projects across the UK and the Middle East, with large organisations such as the European Union, Amnesty International, and the Grand Egyptian Museum.
Cllr Allen is the Mayor of Dacorum and serves as a committee member for the Boxmoor Good Neighbours and as a trustee for Community Action Dacorum. He is a history teacher and sixth form lead at Roman Fields Academy.
Learn more about our new team members here.

Dacorum Heritage Open Meeting

Our Annual Open Meeting was held immediately after our AGM. This was a chance for the public to look at DH’s great work over the past year and our plans for the year to come. We reported on the unveiling of our 30th anniversary artwork, which is currently on display at the Forum in Hemel Hempstead. We shared our refreshed Strategic Aims, which explain how we keep Collections, Communities and Sustainability at the heart of our work. Our Strategic Aims can be read here and downloadable below.
We were thrilled to announce our successful application to the National Lottery Heritage Resilience Fund and to introduce The Dacorum Heritage 30:30 Project. This project will analyse our current cultural offer and map out our future needs and development opportunities. The project will involve the input of several consultancies to help us create a Statement of Requirements for the premises that would be needed for DH to operate effectively. We look forward to sharing more details as this project picks up speed.
We then reported on our public engagement activity from the past year. This included our 30th anniversary, which we marked with a social media showcase of 30 objects from the collection and by unveiling a new piece of artwork, involving these objects, created by artist Marli Jessop. This year we received the Hertfordshire Association of Museums Inclusion Award and developed our website to continue to engage with more audiences. With the support of the Royal Society, we also released a new loan box ‘The science behind… fireworks’ for schools to create a fun and informative lesson based on Dacorum’s history of firework production. 2023 was also a busy year for our education outreach programme. We ran heritage crafts workshops for local Scouts groups, hosted two work experience students, and supervised a university work placement student who created our first online exhibition, ‘The Ovaltine Girl and her advertising journey.

We provided an overview of our collections activity, which has involved continued work to digitise our collection of Ovaltine films and photography through funding from the Garfield Weston Foundation.  We have also been steadily reviewing our collection documentation and procedures in anticipation of our museum re-accreditation. We were pleased to report that we have obtained a number of new acquisitions in line with our Collections Development Policy: First World War and Boer War Medals; a late 20th century Girl Guide uniform; the ‘Doves’ community artwork to commemorate 100 years since the end of First World War ; and our 30th anniversary artwork. In the coming year, we will continue to digitise our Ovaltine collection, develop our Documentation Manual, and improve the storage of our collection.

Documents as downloads

Dacorum School Careers Fair

Getting into Heritage

There are a number of alternative pathways into museums and heritage careers for you to explore.

Volunteering, if you can, is a great way to get practical experience and test which roles interest you. Work experience offers similar opportunities. Many organisations will also pay travel expenses for volunteers. Job applications will often ask for evidence of volunteering. You’ll get practical experience and test which roles interest you.

Apprenticeships are paid, on the job training and available across the heritage sector.  From Stonemason to Conservator and with a range of entry requirements, there is an apprenticeship for everyone.

Non-Heritage Specific Roles are available in most organisations, e.g. finance and marketing, which look for transferable skills and experience from outside the heritage sector.

a student stands by a shelf of boxes and is posed pulling a box from the shelf she is wearing blue gloves
Work experience student exploring our Store. Courtesy of Dacorum Heritage.

Different Types of Heritage and Museum Careers

Public Relations roles help museums communicate with the public. They can include running social media, organising events, press, marketing and communications.

Being digital is crucial to museums. Practically every digital skillset is needed in museums, e.g: Digital Art Designers to develop a museum’s online presence; Digital Content Developer (website development), and Digital Producer (digital exhibition elements) are some of the roles you may see.

Engagement programmes are a big part of most museum’s purpose. This might include working directly with children and community groups in workshops, or with university students to facilitate their research.

Climate Change related roles are opening up as museums work to reduce their carbon emissions.

Curatorial and Conservation play a fundamental role in museums. Working directly with the artefacts, they help interpret their story and preserve them for future generations.

Fundraising from creating engaging events to membership & donation programmes, most museums wouldn’t be around if it wasn’t for fundraising.

Operations & Estates maintain the business side of museums, including financial & business planning, HR, the Board of Trustees, and site management (buildings and grounds).

a student with a baseball cap holds a camera. they have it pointed to a painting of Cranstone seated
Work placement student photographing objects in our Store. Courtesy of Dacorum Heritage.

Links

Start exploring to see what’s available. Here are some sites to get you started:

Get involved and search on an organisation’s website for volunteering opportunities or check out the below:

Here are some quotes from our regular volunteers:-

"Great for building new skills"

"I have enjoyed finding out what is in the loan boxes and developing new resources and worksheets that will help bring history alive"

"Socially it's great – really feel like part of the team"

To celebrate our 30th anniversary in 2023, we selected 30 objects from the collection. These objects reflected the breadth of history in the borough of Dacorum. A call-out was made to emerging artists to interpret this collection of objects into one piece of artwork. This artwork would be exhibited and then subsequently added to the museum’s collection. Marli Jessop was selected and commissioned to create this final piece. She has worked to combine and connect the artefacts into the final piece of art titled ‘30 pieces of history’, which is now on display at The Forum, Hemel Hempstead, alongside a description of all 30 objects.
About the artist
Marli is a GB athlete and a student of fine art at Buckinghamshire University, specialising in portraiture. She grew up in Hertfordshire and knows the area of Dacorum well, having competed for Dacorum and Tring Athletics Club for many years.
What we loved about Marli’s application was that her proposal included examples of how she thought she could layer many of the objects in a collage style. The fact that she is a portraiture artist will also enable us to highlight some of the people behind our objects, such as Ophelia (the woman discovered in 1971 at the Cow Roast Romano British site) and Reginald Jack Evans (awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal for his reconnaissance work during the First World War).

In the film below, Marli answers some questions about her work and the piece she has created.

Our 30th anniversary artwork is now on display at The Forum, Hemel Hempstead, alongside a description of all 30 objects.

To find out more about each of the 30 objects visit our website here

 

For many schools in Dacorum, the week of 10th July is Work Experience Week. This year two pupils from Ashlyns School came to Dacorum Heritage to contribute to our museum mission!
Emmy and Emily spent the week being ‘museum curators’, learning the art of museum curation and thinking about how museums in the future might connect to their local communities. At the end of the week, they gave a presentation of their ideas, alongside everything they had learned, to our board.
We tasked them to create a display for our case in Berkhamsted Library around a theme of their choice. They chose the theme of ‘Berkhamsted High Street over time’ and we encourage you to visit and see the items that they selected to display.
From all of us at Dacorum Heritage, we would like to thank Emmy and Emily for their work and wish them well in their future studies.

This is what they had to say about their experience with Dacorum Heritage.

Emmy:
Doing my work experience with Dacorum Heritage has been a fantastic opportunity and I was able to find out many useful things which will help me in the future. For example, we were taught how to look for artefacts in the stores which was really interesting and something I will never forget. I also learned how to create a display which helped me to understand the hard work which goes into doing this.
From creating the new display, I have gained a new interest in the history of Berkhamsted, particularly the evolution of the High Street which we did our display on. In order to find the artefacts we wanted to use for our display, we were taught how to use the software MODES. This made me realise how many different artefacts there are in the collection and how important it is to take care of them, giving me a newfound appreciation for curators and what they do for our community.
By doing a presentation together at the end of the week, I have become more confident speaking in front of people and it has been a great way to finish the experience, summarising what we have done. My work experience week has made me realise how much I love learning about history and given me an amazing insight into what I want to do as a future career.

Emily:
Personally, my week at Dacorum Heritage was amazing. I got to learn so much about what happens in a museum behind the scenes. For example learning how to safely handle the artefacts to put together a display. The ability to learn how to do this was unlike anything I could have expected. It was much more work than I first thought, particularly picking the items took a considerable amount of time.
This whole process has given me so much more respect for curators as I didn't realise just how hard looking after collections can be. The experience of creating a social media post was also a great opportunity as I had the ability to help educate others in a fun and engaging way. Overall, my work experience week was a great opportunity, and I would one hundred percent do it again.

If you know a student, studying in Dacorum, who may be interested in carrying out their work experience with us next year, please look out for the notice for applications in Spring 2024.

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