Museums & Heritage Consultancy

Welcome to Helen Giles Museum Consultancy.

I provide a range of high quality, tailored, flexible and affordable consultancy services for museums and heritage organisations throughout the UK.

With over 22 years’ experience working in the museum and heritage sector, I have built up a diverse range of hands-on curatorial and management skills across national, local authority and independent museums.  I have an in-depth understanding of how museums work and what is required for them to thrive into the future.

With a wealth of knowledge, I provide a range of museum consultancy services and specialise in helping organisations undertake National Lottery Heritage Fund projects.

Museums & heritage consultancy services

  • Helping organisations with National Lottery Heritage Fund applications, from Expression of Interest right through to project completion
  • Finding alternative funding for heritage-based projects
  • All aspects of Accreditation
  • Collection reviews
  • Volunteer management
  • Museums & heritage research
  • ‘Critical Friend’ service
  • Curatorial support
  • Support in helping to set up new museums

For further details about the services I offer, please take a look at the services page.

Let’s work together

Whatever your requirements, I would love to hear from you. Call me on 01279 842 120 for an informal chat or to arrange a meeting. I welcome enquiries both small and large, from near and far.

Based in Hertfordshire I’m ideally situated to work throughout the East of England and the rest of the UK.

What my clients say …

Watford Museum can wholeheartedly recommend Helen Giles for a broad range of museum projects and commissions.

Helen is incredibly professional and successful, but for our museum her key strengths include her ability to help us help ourselves, assisting us with identifying exactly what we need and ensuring we have the tools to achieve it.

We’ve also appreciated her friendly and open attitude which enables her to work effectively with every member of our team. At the same time she has helped us focus and plan to deliver our goals, in a small team where officer time is always an issue.

Helen has a wealth of experience in projects large and small, including Heritage Lottery Fund projects and Museum Accreditation. She’s been able to utilise this to provide practical support, improved governance and delivered excellent value for money for Watford Museum.

Greenwood Projects have worked with Helen over nine months as part of an early stage review of a significant Cathedral. The project pulled together a number of different disciplines each with their own individual work strands and collaborative outcomes. Elements of the work were also undertaken with the backdrop of responding to Covid-19 which meant we had to change our working approach. Helen was very proactive at keeping in contact with the project and client team during this difficult time which was appreciated immensely.

Helen undertook a collections review for our client. The detail and passion Helen put into the research was very apparent to both ourselves and the client. Helen went above and beyond, positively impacting the project. Helen was able to engage with a range of different key stakeholders for this project working alongside the Cathedral team and approach the current challenges sensitively yet robustly. Alongside her own role in the project she also actively supported others and bought insight into a number of key areas. Helen never hesitated in pointing the team in the right direction of resources that would help and this support was invaluable.

We cannot recommend Helen highly enough, not only is her work of the highest quality she is friendly, approachable and diligent. Helen was a pleasure to work with and we hope to work together soon.

Helen has been supporting us through our Accreditation process. We have been through a major redevelopment which has merged two cultural venues in Bedford and the various policies, plans and procedures required for Accreditation were out of date and needed completely revamping.

Helen clearly has a thorough understanding (and enjoyment!) of the whole Accreditation process.  She was able to confidently work through the separate policies and plans from the organisations, liaising with the museum team and creating a more succinct set of templates and guidance with which the team could understand, adopt and populate to produce their Accreditation documents.   The timeline for the work was pretty short, but Helen delivered on time and followed up afterwards to ensure everything was in order.

I would have no hesitation in recommending her services and working with her in the future.

UH Arts worked with Helen over a three year period to support our submission for Museum Accreditation, from the early preparations to full submission in December 2019. We would not have achieved t his huge and daunting task without her!

We are a small and overstretched team and crucially Helen did not just advise us and set us tasks, instead she was hands-on and shared the ‘doing’ with us. We did not come away from meetings with an overwhelming task list, rather shared out the drafting documents, desk research and contacting relevant people. Helen also helped us set the timeline for discussing and drafting the required documents, and thus gave the process momentum and structure. She demystified areas of the process on several occasions when we got stuck and was always at the end of the phone when we have a quick query. Helen was quick to familiarise herself with the new requirements that were introduced in Spring 2019 so that we were able to update the work done to date in line with the new criteria.

Helen has an excellent reputation and she gave us credibility in our conversations with Arts Council England and Hertfordshire Association of Museums.

Helen is a delight to work with. She is calm and methodical, with excellent attention to detail (which we certainly needed!). She has a lovely warm nature and way about her, with a great sense of humour when we needed it along the way. We miss Helen’s involvement with the team and the Art Collection.

The Sisters of Nazareth engaged Helen at the ideas stage to advise us on the scoping of a piece of work to develop a collection of memorabilia about the Congregation and our Foundress. Helen worked very effectively with us, really understanding the organisation, our collection and what we want to achieve, as well as being a pleasure to work with. She helped develop our vision and provided us with sage advice that will help us to move forward with the project, hopefully with Helen’s ongoing guidance and support.

Helen delivered some excellent training for the library staff at the London School of Economics. It was tailored perfectly to our needs as we embark upon an exhibitions programme in a new bespoke space in the library. We needed help on getting it going and refining our plans.

Helen was approachable, knowledgeable and friendly. Working with her to plan the session was a breeze and I would not hesitate to work with her again. Thanks so much Helen!

The members of the Widford Parish Council were delighted with the report of recommendations that Helen prepared for us on our Village Archives. Helen went above and beyond what we expected, and the degree of detail and information in the report means that our Archivist now has a valuable and easily understandable reference document on which to base our future plans.