Coronavirus Support Resources – Online Advice Surgeries

Online surgery service – applications now open

We are very aware that independent museums are facing new and unprecedented challenges at the moment, but we’re here to help.

Working with the pool of consultants who normally provide our Prospering Boards consultancies, we’re offering an online support service for museums.

Please note, AIM is working on more resources to be made available in the coming weeks and months as the situation evolves.

If you are specifically seeking information on the government support schemes, you will find that here .

Our consultants have considerable experience and knowledge with a wide range of skills and expertise. They can offer support with the issues your museum is facing right now as a result of the Coronavirus situation and, looking to the future, help in rethinking how you might need to adapt and change.

Issues might include:


-Governance issues (e.g. how to continue to meet as a board during coming months; putting in place temporary committees / working practices and protocols)
-Board renewal and recruitment
-Resilient leadership – e.g. leading people through change and in uncertain times, supporting personal and staff/volunteer resilience

-HR advice and support (e.g. managing sick pay, holiday and staffing, how to support and monitor home-working)
-Managing volunteers (e.g. supporting volunteers in the event of closures etc)
-Organisational change
-Coaching and mentoring

-Business planning, interruption and continuity
-Income generation/trading activities

How does it work?
Get in touch with Margaret Harrison, AIM Programmes Manager, at

In your application, please tell us:
-Your name
-Your contact details
-Your museum
-Your AIM membership number
-Your question / immediate issue for the consultant to help with

Consultations will only be for an hour, so we’d recommend you be concise in your question. Be clear about your most urgent issue to ensure their support is as focused as possible.

We’ll allocate a consultant who will get in touch with you using the contact details provided. Take a look at the list of consultants and their biographies. We’re offering up to an hour of support by email, phone or video conferencing.

This emergency fund is being run as a trial as an immediate response to the Coronavirus crisis, so please be aware that funds are limited and not all applications will be successful. However, please be assured AIM is continuing to look at further routes for support for members and will share these as and when they become available.


This is just a selection of the positive feedback received from AIM members who have already spoken to one of our consultants:

“It was very useful and much appreciated” 

“Our conversation very useful and helpful – thank you for your time. Alongside the benefit of a ‘sanity check’ on our thinking it was very useful to explore ideas”

“We are approaching the future with determination to continue to deliver our mission and achieve our vision”

“Thank you for your kind words on our effort to date. It was a comfort to have the call with you and to learn that we have been searching and researching in the right places” 

“It was really useful to be able to sense check some of my ideas and I found it very valuable. A really useful service from AIM so thanks very very much for the support”

T&Cs – Please read
We require evidence that this application is supported by the Chair of Trustees and the most senior member of staff (unless this is a voluntary-run organisation). It is extremely important that the Board should have prior knowledge of this application.

If the request is not being submitted by the Chair / Chief Executive, please copy them into the email or ask them to email separately to confirm that their support.

We will accept one request for support per museum.

This programme is funded by AIM’s Arts Council England Sector Support Organisation funding and is available to Accredited Museums or museums working towards Accreditation in England. As of 25 March and thanks to support from Museums Galleries Scotland, it is also available to Accredited Museums or museums working towards Accreditation in Scotland. As of 26 March, and thanks to support from Northern Ireland Museums Council, it is also available to Accredited Museums or museums working towards Accreditation in Northern Ireland. As of 1 April, the programme has been extended to Accredited Museums or museums working towards accreditation in Wales, with thanks to the Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales.

The consultants chosen for the programme are highly respected and experienced. However, AIM accepts no liability for the advice they offer to the museums participating in the programme. You can take a look at the consultants taking part and their biographies here.

It is the museum’s own responsibility to ensure that the advice provided by the consultant is appropriate before acting on it.