Volunteers help us to offer a varied programme of activities to thousands of visitors each year. ‘Public Engagement’ volunteering is about being a warm and supportive team player – ready to lend a hand, and always with a smile. If you would enjoy interacting with visitors and making their visits the best that they can be, then please read on!
Ad hoc volunteering (‘Activity and Event Helpers’)
Most of our volunteers help on an ad hoc basis: welcoming visitors, running simple gallery activities, and gathering feedback. Events may be aimed at families, schools, the general public, and/or invited guests. They usually take place during the holidays and on Saturdays, although there are opportunities to get involved during the week – both daytime and evening – throughout the year. Enthusiasm is more important than experience or expertise; as long as you’re willing to give it a go and get stuck in, then staff will tell you everything you need to know at a short briefing before the event starts. The first step to getting involved in ad hoc volunteering is to attend a Public Engagement induction. These are advertised throughout the year. Volunteers then receive regular emails (monthly, with weekly updates) listing the opportunities they can get involved in.
More regular volunteering
Some volunteers are part of a specific team and help more regularly (weekly, fortnightly, or monthly), e.g. delivering tours, running object handling, engaging families, and assisting at the welcome desk. Great communication skills are key to this type of volunteering, which is all about sharing a love for a particular museum and inspiring others! These opportunities are advertised and recruited for as and when teams need topping-up – often just once or twice a year. Because of the extra training involved, the anticipated commitment is generally greater and there may be more competition to join in.
We hope that all Public Engagement volunteers will share the values outlined in ‘Our Volunteers’.