Sheffield’s National Emergency Services Museum (NESM) remains at risk of closure despite raising £10,000 through an online crowdfunding campaign.

Reliant on visitor donations to stay afloat, the volunteer-led organisation was previously on track to run out of funding this month after coronavirus lockdown measures starved the organisation of its income from donating visitors. 

Although confident recent fundraising efforts will allow the NESM to reopen in the short term, the Museum’s Chief Executive, Matthew Wakefield, has stressed that the future remains uncertain, predicting a “massive shortfall” in funds this year. 

“Early in the closure period we thought access to grants would leave a £10,000 shortfall hence the target on our JustGiving page,” he said. 

But having been refused government financial support, it’s now calculated the museum is still some £50,000 short of reaching financial stability.

Mr Wakefield added that this would have been the busiest time of year for the charity. 

“Estimating on last year’s numbers we will be around £150,000 down from where we were last June. It really is make or break for us.”

Founded in 1984 and located in a rare Victorian fire and police station hybrid building on West Bar, the museum plays host to an array of important cultural artefacts including a 47-foot lifeboat and a collection of paintings by Sheffield artist Joe Scarborough, alongside immersive experiences such as a fire engine ride experience and a smoky Blitz exhibition. 

Mr Wakefield previously conceded that whilst “it’s a big ask to ask people to donate” in the current climate, “every penny will help us to continue being the guardians of emergency services history.”

To find out more about how to help the museum, send an email to info@visitnesm.org.uk or donate via the JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/nesmuseum\

Image: N. Chadwick

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