Alex Rowe wins West Midlands Volunteers Award 2019
Alex Rowe, an 18-year old blacksmithing student, approached the Waterworks Museum in April 2018 to offer his services as a volunteer. The Waterworks Museum was established in 1974 as an independent working museum concerned primarily, but not exclusively, with the story of the supply of water for public consumption. Currently, it is a not for profit museum structured as a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity. It also has full accreditation status under the Arts Council England scheme which sets nationally agreed standards for museums in the UK.
When Alex walked into the Museum nobody could have anticipated the impact he would make in a short space of time. In his first week he distributed posters around Hereford and then volunteered additional weekend time to support their Steampunk festival. He has diligently supported their open days in steam during term time, and some during college holidays. He is the youngest of their volunteers in training to operate the 1895 triple expansion steam engine. In September-October 2018, he boosted awareness of the Museum by producing two ‘behind the scenes’ video-blogs.
It would have been quite daunting for an 18-year-old to step into this environment, but Alex’s enthusiasm and can-do attitude quickly saw him accepted as a valuable and valued member of the team. Given this contribution, it was no surprise when in March 2019 Alex was appointed the Waterworks Museum’s first Youth Trustee.
An application was submitted on behalf of Alex, by Richard Curtis, to the West Midlands Museum Development programme for a shot at winning the West Midlands Volunteers Award 2019; he was shortlisted and made finalist in his category, along with two other candidates.
On Thursday 12th Sepetember, Alex was one of 150 guests who were treated to an evening full of fun, food and frivolity at Birmingham Hippodrome and this is where Alex was announced as the Young Person Winner, for the West Midlands Volunteers Award 2019.