A VOLUNTEER working with Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens has won a prestigious national award.
Sarah Robson, from Silksworth, Sunderland, was awarded a highly commended Marsh Foundation Trust Award for her work with the Museum’s Creative Age group. Sarah has supported the weekly group, which works with adults living with dementia and with long-term health needs, for four years.
The sessions are led by artists or Museum staff, and Sarah gives one-to-one support to participants and carers, as well as contributing to discussions, helping to set up activities, making drinks and doing the washing-up!
Sarah was Chief Cashier at the Royal Bank of Scotland in Sunderland before being made redundant. As well as volunteering with Creative Age, she now works part-time at T.K. Maxx.
“I’m thrilled and surprised to have won a Marsh Award, it was totally unexpected. When I was with the bank, I always enjoyed serving older people so when I left I was looking for a voluntary role helping older people,” said Sarah
“I love it here and get on really well with the Museum staff who are very supportive. I’ve always had an interest in art and did a degree in photography at the University of Sunderland, so the arts and crafts we do in the sessions interest me,” she added.
Jennie Lambert, Public Engagement and Learning Manager at Sunderland Museums and Heritage Service, said: “Sarah has such a bright and sunny personality and makes everyone feel at ease. She is very committed to the group and rarely misses a session. She also arranges her shifts at work to make sure she can attend every Wednesday.
“During lockdown our sessions were delivered on Zoom and Sarah’s presence was key to creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Her cat made frequent guest appearances, either to sit on her artwork or chase wool when we were weaving which was very entertaining.
“When lockdown restrictions were lifted, Sarah’s support to re-establish the sessions at the Museum were invaluable for both the participants and Museum learning staff. Her Marsh Award is richly deserved and we’re all delighted for her – she’s very popular with our participants and the Museum team.”
The Marsh Charitable Trust was founded in 1981 by its current Chairman Brian Marsh OBE. His aim was to create a sustainable way to give something back to society, by supporting organisations and people working in their communities. The Trust supports about 400 charities annually through its grants programme and gives about 100 different awards to individuals and groups who make a difference to a cause they believe in.
Sunderland Culture organises Creative Age sessions at the Museum every Wednesday (1-3pm). The art and craft sessions are designed for people living with the early stages of dementia, long-term health conditions or social isolation and their carers.
To find out more contact Jennie – firstname.lastname@example.org, or Rachel.email@example.com