A MUSEUM and heritage centre is celebrating after winning the coveted King’s Award for Voluntary Service (KAVS).

Crewkerne and District Museum and Heritage Centre recently won the award, which is the highest award given to voluntary groups in the UK, celebrating outstanding work done by charities.

It is a small independent museum, housed in a listed building, entirely run by volunteers and is financially sound so does not rely on public funds.

Janet Harris, Volunteer Administrator, said: “We are honoured to have recognition of the time, enthusiasm and knowledge that all volunteers, past and present, have contributed to the success of our Museum and Heritage Centre.”

It is accredited by the Arts Council as it meets all the nine standards set down for English museums.

It is supported by an enthusiastic and talented team of 60 volunteers and a ‘Friends Network’ that numbers more than 200.

The museum produces historical publications for sale and it attracts more than 5,000 visitors a year (pre-pandemic numbers).

The freehold of the building was gifted to the museum and the property was rescued from dereliction through a generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

This work has created an attractive museum consisting of four exhibition galleries, a large meeting room, a lift to give access to the first floor, plus offices for administration, cataloguing and historical research.