Is 85-year-old Bryan the oldest voluntary worker in Milton Keynes?
An 85-year-old voluntary worker is among a hard-working crew to be awarded a special Queen's award for services to Milton Keynes Museum.
Bryan Egan has volunteered for the museum for nearly 50 years, and still donates his time every week.
He said: “The award is recognition of what we have achieved as volunteers - everyone has come together – it's a community. The museum keeps me skipping, and I will carry on giving my time until I have a tombstone put over me!”
Bryan and his fellow museum volunteers were guests at a special garden party yesterday (Monday) to celebrate winning the Queen's Award earlier this year.
Around 250 volunteers attended the party in the museum grounds.
Vice Lord Lieutenant Alexander Boswell DL made the presentation to Bryan, Jill Harper and Morgaine Schofield on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Other guests included Mayor of Milton Keynes Sam Crooks and museum patrons Milly Soames and Roger Bowden.
“We were delighted to receive this award as it recognises the unique role that volunteers play at the museum,” said chair of MK Museum Guy Hawking.
“We regularly receive compliments from visitors saying that the volunteers made their day. This award was even more welcome as we were nominated by MK residents who clearly enjoy what the volunteers do to make MK Museum special.”
Guy added: “The museum is an intrinsic part of Milton Keynes, and its success is down to all those who give their time so generously. The presentation was undoubtedly a highpoint in the museum's own history.”
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation.
Over the past year, some 280 people regularly donated their time to the museum. Their work is integral to the success of the museum – in 2018 almost 60,000 visitors came to find out more about local heritage.
Volunteers are involved in all aspects of the running of the museum from room guides to cafe and shop staff, administrators, educators, event organisers, maintenance workers, gardeners and collections specialists.
They work at all levels, including management and give just a few hours to several days each week. Using the NLHF guidelines, their contribution equates to over £300,000 a year.