Volunteer with us – how to get involved
Every day, our volunteers help us to conserve and share the stories of Keswick’s rich history with our visitors. Whether it’s welcoming our visitors and helping them make the most of their visit, or working with our museum collections and artefacts, there are lots of opportunities to get involved.
If you’re interested in joining us, here you can find out more about our volunteer roles, what it’s like to volunteer with us and how to apply.
Why join us?
As a volunteer at Keswick Museum, you’ll be part of our friendly team and will have the opportunity to work alongside our passionate and knowledgeable staff and volunteers, helping us to share the history of our local area with our visitors. So, whether you’re looking to learn new skills, get to know more about our local history, meet other like-minded volunteers or gain valuable work experience, we’re looking for you!
By volunteering with us, you can help our museum continue to be a thriving hub for our visitors and local community. As the earliest purpose-built museum in Cumbria, we have been part of Keswick’s community since 1873. Today, by making sure our visitors have a great time with us, our volunteers help us to generate the income we need to fund the museum and ensure our local heritage can continue to be enjoyed by future generations.
The roles are many and varied, for example:
- Meeting and greeting visitors at front of house
- Assisting with school visits, guided tours and family activities
- Getting involved ‘behind the scenes’ – cataloguing, researching, labelling, monitoring and sorting items from the museum collection
- Helping to set up exhibitions
- Helping to promote the museum through leafleting and events
- Outdoor area maintenance
Right now, we are keen to fill the following volunteer roles:
What you can expect from us
We want your experience of volunteering to be as enjoyable and rewarding as possible, so we will:
- Welcome you as a volunteer, always treating you fairly, with respect and consideration.
- Provide you with a full induction, training opportunities and ongoing support.
- Recognise your contribution, whether that be with a simple thank-you or one of our regular social events or trips.
- Give you access to the Northern Museums Volunteer Pass, which allows you free entry to participating museums in the North West, North East, Yorkshire and Humberside regions.
- Ensure your health, safety and welfare whilst you are volunteering, and provide cover under our indemnity arrangements for any liabilities that may result from your appointment as a volunteer.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much time do I have to give?
Most of our volunteer opportunities are for a few hours a week, however, if a regular slot like this doesn’t work for you, please let us know and we’d be happy to see if we can find an opportunity to suit you.
What skills and experience do I need?
Most of our roles do not require any specific skills or experience. The qualities we are looking for are always outlined on the role descriptions.
What training and support will I be given?
You will have a full induction and training to prepare you for your role, as well as access to all our policies and guidelines. Our Volunteer and Operations Officer will also provide you with any help and support you need when you are volunteering with us.
Is there a trial period?
There is a 3-month trial period for most of our volunteer roles. During this time, you’ll be able to see whether the role is right for you. Our Volunteer and Operations Officer will meet with you at the end of the trial period to review how it has gone before agreeing to continue the arrangement.
Are there any age limits for volunteering?
The museum involves long-term volunteers aged 18 years and upwards, and we also have some opportunities for young people aged 14-19 years. Currently, there is no upper age limit for volunteers, as we work with everyone individually to ensure the role and tasks are suitable for them.
Can I claim expenses?
We do not usually reimburse travel expenses between your home and the museum, but feel free to discuss this with the Volunteer and Operations Officer when you join us. If you attend any external training or events in relation to your role, you can claim for expenses you incur in travelling to the venue and food and drink during the day.
Can I claim benefits whilst I volunteer?
Yes. You are able to volunteer while you are receiving benefits as long as the work you do is unpaid, and you meet the rules of your benefit.
Can I volunteer in the UK if I am not a British National?
If you are from the UK, you are free to volunteer and so are most citizens from the European Union (EU). For those inside and outside the EU, you should check that your visa allows you to volunteer. If you are not sure, you can contact UK Visas and Immigration for advice.
Can I volunteer if I have an unspent criminal conviction?
Having a criminal conviction will not necessarily stop you from volunteering with us. We ask all volunteers to declare any unspent criminal convictions when they apply for a role with us and for some volunteer roles, you may be asked to have a Basic DBS check. A Basic DBS check is a criminal record check that contains details of convictions and conditional cautions that are ‘unspent’ under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. Suitable applicants will not be refused posts because of offences that are not relevant to the role they are applying for, provided that the offence(s) do not put them at risk – or make them a risk in – the role they are applying for.