Volunteering is a non-financial exchange of skills. In exchange for your time, your will have the opportunity to build on the skills you have and develop new ones!
People volunteer for lots of different reasons-to make new friends and routines, to develop skills and broaden their experience, to ensure their CV reflects what they want to do, to give something back, to create new interests-or revive forgotten ones.
Volunteering helps organisations too. It allows workplaces to support people to move forward, it brings new skills in to the workplace as people have different skills set and it can help workplaces be more efficient by allowing volunteers to focus on particular areas of work.
Museums like Storiel couldn’t stay open without the support of our volunteers. Since 2014 we have been supported by over 4,000 of volunteer hours! Here’s how that breaks down:
“Front of House”
Visitor Experience Volunteers: Used mainly in Storiel, we rely on the support of volunteers to meet and greet visitors in our reception and shop area, in the tourist information point and in the history and art galleries. Visitors often want very general information, as well as someone to listen to their own personal family history-we are a folk museum curating life in our county, so this is quite natural.
You don’t need specific knowledge for this kind of role as much of the information is to already be found in the museum! You can further develop skills in communication, customer service and timekeeping in this role as well as take your own personal research about Welsh history and art by having access to our professional library.
We sometimes require assistance with our guided tours of the fine art and ceramics collections of the university too.
“Behind the Scenes”
This can be more specific. Zooolgy and Entemology students are recruited exclusively for our work in the Brambell Natural History Museum as we need their expertise as we identify and catalogue specimens. They also get to volunteers as knowledgeable tour guides when we open the museum to the public. We also have some geologists who help us to identify and catalogue the Geology Collection.
We try and do what we do for free, meaning we don’t charge admission, or for family activities in the holidays, we sometimes require volunteers to support us with these popular events, so if you like children and like crafting, this might be for you!