Long-serving Gold Hill Museum steward and gardener Jill Sumner received a well-deserved accolade at the AGM of the Dorset Museums Association, held at Poole Museum on Thursday 21 November. Along with several other volunteers who form the indispensable staffing backbone of most of Dorset’s museums, Jill received her Volunteer of the Year Award from Dr Jon Murden, Director of the Dorset County Museum and Chair of the DMA.
The citation in support of Jill’s Award from the Chair of the Trustees of The Shaftesbury & District Historical Society was read to, and applauded by, the meeting.
Jill has been a steward for twenty years and apparently served for 30 years previously at Blandford Museum. She does two shifts a week and regularly volunteers for extra shifts. She is also a member of the gardening team and puts in hours every week, only missing one session during last winter, as well as doing every week during the previous hot summer, and she has to walk up Gold Hill to do all this. Recently, having undergone serious surgery, she took just one week off and organised her own cover for her shifts. Jill has also taken a leading and enthusiastic role in reviving the re-enactment of the historic Byzant ceremony in the town. She is unfailingly cheerful and a delight to share a shift with; she is truly worthy of recognition.