Volunteer Spotlight: Linda Allan, Family Craft Volunteer

For the next twelve months the Museum will shine the spotlight on our Volunteers. Each month one of our Volunteers will tell you about why they chose to Volunteer with the Castle and Museum and give you an insight into their role and what they enjoy most about the time they give.

This month the spotlight shines on Linda Allan, who is one of our Family Craft Volunteers. Linda began Volunteering in July 2013; she is part of a team of four Volunteers who facilitate the Family Craft afternoons which are held every fortnight within the education room.

Linda-supervising-craftsHello Linda, can you tell us what inspired you to become a volunteer with the Castle and Museum?

I already work within the museum sector at Perth Museum & Art Gallery but I wanted the additional experience of working with a different collection and the chance to use some of my artistic skills.

 Tell us about the role that you do?

I help run the free drop-in craft activities for families at The Black Watch Castle and Museum. I work with another Volunteer, Laura, and Rebecca, the Learning Officer, to offer a variety of crafts and the chance for families to learn something about the collections.

What do you like most about the role you undertake? Any highlights you would like to share? 

I like the fact that the sessions are free and open to all ages. It is a great way to introduce new audiences to the collections and encourage families to visit the exhibitions. I love seeing the different way that the collections inspire creativity!

How do you manage to link the Museum collection to what you do?

We like to come up with a variety of ideas using different materials. We use paintings, medals, costume and the Castle itself for inspiration, and offer a bit of information about the history of the Regiment and significance behind medals etc. as a learning experience for adults and children alike. We also promote the events programme and Facebook page to our audience to help them find out more.

What has been your favourite craft activity?

They are all fab! I love the way that the kids will take our basic ideas and develop them into unique works of art. We have created swords, silver boxes, collage pictures, flags, origami tanks, soldiers – but the most impressive technique must be the incredible shrinking medals, for the real ‘wow’ factor. The kids love those!

Can you give us a sneaky peak of what crafting ideas are around for next year?

We have lots of exciting ideas. One idea we have been thinking about is creating hanging mobiles taking inspiration from the iconic Black Watch images such as the Red Hackle and the tartan. We are always keen to hear from the families who come along as to what ideas they might have.

Finally, would you recommend Volunteering at the Castle and Museum to others?

Absolutely. I have enjoyed every minute. There is fantastic support from the staff. I feel my experience is valued and I have had the opportunity to learn new skills, meet lovely people and make new friends.

Thank you Linda for telling us about your experience volunteering with the Museum; we are extremely grateful for the time and enthusiasm you give!

The Museum is looking to increase our team of Family Craft Volunteer from our current four to six. If you are interested in finding out more about the role and how to apply please visit:

www.theblackwatch.co.uk/index/volunteer-recruitment

To find out more about the family craft drop-in afternoons visit the events section of the Museum website.

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About blackwatchmuseum

The Museum of The Black Watch offers an insight into one of the British Army's if not the world's most famous fighting units. Scotland's Black Watch is an elite military regiment whose history stretches back almost three centuries.
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