Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Cowper & Newton Museum Volunteers win Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

We are honoured to announce that on Tuesday 2nd June Cowper & Newton Museum Volunteers received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Coming just 5 weeks after the 120th anniversary of the founding of the Museum in April 1900, we are delighted that the hard work and commitment shown by our many volunteers, and appreciated by our visitors, has been recognised by this prestigious award.


Our thanks to Councillor Keith McLean who nominated our volunteers for the award

“I was very pleased to assist with the nomination of the Cowper and Newton Museum as it is a wonderful organisation that brings together so many people who volunteer in many guises to run and enhance the museum, The work that has been undertaken in the last five years has been fantastic, with not only the growth in the number of artefacts on display but also the work to enhance the fabric of the buildings. An amazing amount of work delivered by an amazing army of volunteers!”


And also to Mark Lancaster and Martin Thacker who supported the nomination

‘The Cowper & Newton Museum has become a charming and appealing showcase of all matters relating to both historical figures.  The Museum successfully tells the story of each person in a sensitive way.  All ages are catered for.  I am particularly impressed by the way staff have considered young visitors.

This change is as a result of the committee, staff and volunteers of the Museum.  There is a warm welcome for everyone who visits and a genuine desire to tell the stories of Cowper and Newton.  This is because there is tangible pride in the Museum and its place in Olney.  The venue is physically in the heart of the town but also in the hearts of its volunteers.

I also attended an event that was organised to demonstrate appreciation for the volunteers.  I was amazed by the number of volunteers that now support the Museum and their enthusiasm for the place.  There were numerous examples of how they have used their skills and knowledge to contribute in various ways e.g. painting, decorating, repairs, as well as acting as Museum guides or being part of the Georgian Dance group performing for visitors.

The camaraderie amongst the volunteers, staff and committee is evident.  They are clearly motivated to ensure the Museum serves the memory of two inspirational people but also the town and beyond.

The volunteers make a significant difference and have ensured that the Museum is a vibrant place.  I wholeheartedly recommend them for a Queen’s Award in recognition of all they do.’

Martin Thacker of Fetternear

Baron of Fetternear

* Also one time Lord of the Manor of Olney


The Queen’s Award is a welcome Dose of Positivity

With life being currently challenging for so many independent Museums, this award is a much welcome dose of positivity.  Behind the scenes we are continuing to safeguard our historic buildings and collections so we are ready to welcome old friends and new back to the Museum in what we hope is the very near future – and of course have the opportunity for all our volunteers to get together and celebrate …


You can find out more about this year’s Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service at  www.gov.uk/queens-award-for-voluntary-service


To find out about volunteering at the Cowper & Newton Museum here


You might also be interested in...

Cowper’s Pocket Watch – a Musical Movement with Bassoon

William Cowper’s pocket watch, gifted to him by his cousin Theodora, has inspired a  new piece of music for bassoon by composer Lara Poe. Romantic Europe: The Virtual Exhibition (RÊVE) is a project and website which showcases and shares Romantic texts, objects, and places through collaborations between academic researchers, museums,

Read More »

To which are added Hymns &c

When the ‘Olney Hymns’ hymnal was published in 1779, Rev’d John Newton noted in the Preface that some of the hymns had previously appeared in other publications. Copies of a few of these Hymns have already appeared in periodical publications, and in some recent collections. I have observed one or

Read More »

At The Museum

A Peek Inside Orchard Side House

Take a peek inside Orchard Side House as we begin to unveil some of our hidden secrets. Visit the ‘Welcome’ page for a short guide to the other delights we have in store for you during your visit.

Read More »

The Three Hares Art Gallery

The Three Hares Gallery is located on the top floor of the Museum building and holds monthly exhibitions, it is now in a bigger, brighter space with state of the art CCTV security and direct stair access from our Shop.  Since 2007 our exhibitions have included artists who work in watercolours, acrylics, oils, pastels, drawings,

Read More »

Flower & Summer House Gardens

Visit our tranquil & historic Gardens. William Cowper was an innovative gardener at a time when seeds & plants were arriving from North America. Find out more here, including a plan of the gardens.

Read More »

Related Articles

Dear Brother: John Newton’s Letters to Alexander Clunie

Dear Brother: John Newton’s Letters to Alexander Clunie Visitors to the museum later this month can enjoy a new display, Dear Brother: John Newton’s Letters to Alexander Clunie, based on some letters written by John Newton to his close friend Captain Alexander Clunie. The letters, 22 in total, were found in 2018 in the archive

Read More »

Become a Trustee

Become a Trustee The Cowper & Newton Museum are looking to recruit three new Trustees to their board. We are looking for individuals with legal, fundraising, or marketing experience and a passion for museums. If this sounds like you, we’d love for you to get in touch! Mission The Museum exists to conserve, develop, and

Read More »

Amazing Grace @ 250 1st January 2023

In late December 1772, Rev John Newton prepared his sermon in the attic study of his Vicarage home in Church Street, Olney. During his New Year’s Day morning service on the first of January 1773, the congregation at Newton’s parish church of St Peter & St Paul will have heard him give his sermon based

Read More »
Category filter
Item added to cart.
0 items - £0.00

Book Museum Tickets

Our Museum building remains CLOSED.  We are opening our gardens on limited entry.  The Cowper & Newton Museum gardens will be open to welcome you on Wednesday 5th August 10.30 – 12.15 and Saturday 8th August 10.30 – 12.15

(Follow our social media accounts or check back here for further opening days & times as they become available)