BAFM is here to help, encourage, inform and assist Friends, supporters and volunteers of museums, galleries, and other cultural organisations in all sections of our UK heritage..

  • Support We provide all Friends groups with the support to help them set up and run their organisation
  • Inform We keep our members informed about items of benefit via a Journal, emails and local and national conferences
  • Network We provide a network of like-minded people and organisations to help share problems and solutions.

BAFM is an independent organisation established in 1973 for Friends, volunteers and supporters in museums, galleries and heritage sites representing more than 200,000 Friends and Volunteers across the UK. It offers a friendly and practical network of support from people with first-hand experience of running Friends organisations, acts as a clearing house for common problems and their solutions, and is a central source of information about Friends for Friends. BAFM has links with a variety of organisations such as the Department for Culture, Media and Sport; the Museums Association; the Association of Independent Museums; the Heritage Alliance; Arts Council England; the Charity Commission; the Association of Volunteer Managers; and the National Volunteer Forum. BAFM is a member of the World Federation of Friends of Museums. BAFM holds national and regional events. Experienced regional co-ordinators are active across the British Isles. A lively Journal is produced and a highly competitive ‘must-have’ Insurance scheme is available for members. Most importantly, this site is for existing and prospective members. One of BAFM’s key aims is to improve communications between it and its members, but also to help members to communicate, share and help each other. With your help and contributions, we can go a long way to achieve that aim. For non-members, this facility will showcase the wide range of activities that our members cover and demonstrate the truly enormous contribution that Friends and Volunteers make to the heritage sector: we invite you to join us.

Read more about our Aims and Objectives and BAFM’s History.

Read BAFM’s formal Constitution in full.

Engaging With Young People

Jasmine Farram, Youth Ambassador for BAFM, has carried out research to identify ways of encouraging young people to join as Friends of Museums & Art Galleries. The production of a comprehensive report follows her intensive research (by questionnaire) into the experiences of local Friends groups – our thanks to all groups that responded to her. The recommendations make very interesting reading and it is suggested that all groups read the report. To download the report please click on the link:

Please click on the link: Report-Engaging Young People 17

Jasmine Farram, BAFM Youth Ambassador

Jasmine Farram, BAFM Youth Ambassador

BAFM Reg Co-ordinator for NE, leading the area day 2018

BAFM Reg Co-ordinator for NE, leading the area day 2018

BAFM National Conference, Illustration by Nicola Schofield

BAFM National Conference at Reading 2019 – Courtesy of Reading Urban Sketchers – Nicola Schofield



I am delighted to be Patron of the British Association of Friends of Museums and send my best wishes for the future.  The members all play an important role in supporting, helping and advising the vast number of people who work with their local museums and heritage sites. The volunteer element makes a vital difference to the financing of museums as well as providing a human face to the public who hope to gain a better understanding of what it is they have come to see.

HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG, GCVO, GCStJ Patron of BAFM

Museums are places where we not only look back at the past but also to the possibilities of the future.  They provide opportunities to learn about our heritage and also expose us to new and interesting experiences.  At the same time museums bring economic benefits by attracting the tourist pound. My commitment as president of this excellent organisation is to, at every opportunity, promote the benefits, both social and economic, that museums and historic monuments bring to communities across the UK.

Dame Rosemary Butler, former President of BAFM



Dr Elizabeth Mackenzie MBE


Norah Dunbar