Elizabeth Singleton: The reason I became a member was because I loved it and I thought it was nice to be part of something that I believed was wonderful.

Ken Draper: Well at a very practical level, you can get in and out of exhibitions easily and for free, once you’ve paid your membership, but I think the big thing that I first started to enjoy, you can go to exhibitions comfortably more than once.

Marina Vaizey: There’s a whole range of special events and you get terrific discounts, I know we shouldn’t talk about getting something for nothing. There’s a wonderful magazine, it’s the only major publication that reaches out to the general public.

Elizabeth Singleton: I became a member about three years ago and it was actually a birthday present from my brother, very nice present I must say. If anything else it would make me come to the museum more.

Ken Draper: It’s a building that gets hold of you because if you’re going to look for a specific thing you’re going to see 101 other things on the way there and I think that’s a tremendous strength compared with some other places. I mean it is a way, a view, albeit in a very modest way of helping with acquisitions, things that the museum wants and it’s got to go on developing and improving its collection. I mean it’s fantastic, but it’s only fantastic because in the past people have gone on developing it.

Marina Vaizey: I’ve been a member of the Victoria and Albert Friends, the Friends of the V&A for twelve years, but I’ve known the V&A for 40-45 years and I have seen it transform itself into the most exciting museum, one of the most exciting museums in the world. I think you really join because you want to support the museum but in turn you get a lot of benefit.

Mark Jones: Friends are people who like the V&A, who’ve come to know the V&A, who enjoy the V&A, who want to be part of it. Free admission is of course part of that, the Friends room is part of it, but I think that now more than ever the V&A needs the help of its friends. What it does is I think really important to the national interest, it’s really enjoyable to be part of and Friends membership is a way of sustaining that.

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