One of the things that visitors to the Museum often comment on is the friendliness and professionalism of our team of volunteer stewards and guides. We also hear that visitors may like to become more involved and perhaps join our team, but sometimes may worry that they lack the required skills to be a guide or steward at the Museum.
So here’s an overview of what type of person makes a great volunteer at the Museum, plus some insights from our existing team on how they came to be with us. If you’re interested in joining our team, we think you will find this is a useful way to find out more.
Do I Need to Be An Expert on Aircraft?
Absolutely not! We have a great combination of retired military personnel, plus people from other walks of life and other professions while many others have other skills that are invaluable in meeting our visitors and explaining what we do. Above all, our volunteers are approachable, with a good team spirit and able to talk to a wide variety of family visitors. Together, they learn from each other and make a great team. So you don’t have to be an aircraft expert. You probably already have some skills that you don’t realise.
So What Skills Are Required?
The ability to engage in a friendly way with our visitors is probably our most important value. We will help you learn all about the Museum as part of the joining process, but if you’re from a background of dealing with the public in a variety of different levels and ages, then that’s a really useful asset.
Most of our museum visitors are families and groups of people looking for a nice day out and the chance to learn something about aviation and social history. If you have a similar interest, you’re already most of the way there.
You need to be reasonably active, as the Museum is bigger than many people realise and guides can walk quite a distance on a busy summers day!
How Much Time Do I Need To Give?
The minimum we ask for is four days per calendar month, but many volunteers enjoy working more than that. Right now, we’re particularly looking for people with time on Fridays and Sundays.
What Are The Rewards?
While it is a volunteer post, with no financial return, the benefits can be quite rewarding. To be able to interact with visitors and guide them around the Museum is something our volunteers say they find particularly rewarding.
The fact that this role is actually very important is something that people don’t realise initially. You are, in fact, the public face of the Museum and the interface between all of the behind the scenes staff and the public who visit us to have an enjoyable day. Once familiar with the Museum, you will have the responsibility of opening and closing the Museum when you are on duty.
So How Do I Start?
If you think this is something you would like to be involved in, use our contact form to drop us a line. You can also download the Application Form for Volunteers. From there you can talk to our team and see what would be a good fit for you.
Here are some comments from our existing volunteer team that will give you an idea of what brought them here.
“I don’t have any military background at all. Nor am I a particular aircraft person. In fact, railways are my thing! But I came here on a visit and really enjoyed it. Began chatting with some of the volunteers and realised that I might actually be good at this. I’ve been here a while now and there is still so much more to discover!”
“I served in the RAF on Cold War Jets such as the Victor and Nimrod. I visited the Museum to meet up with an old freind from our forces days as we thought that the Museum would be a good rendezvous. When I chatted to the volunteers, I grew to like the feel of the place and I decided to come back and be more involved. I haven’t been home since!”
“It’s a unique place, I love the atmosphere, the parkland style of the grounds and also the contact with visitors and sharing the history of the Museum with them. There’s so much to learn while at the same time it’s somewhere that is more than just an Air Museum.”
Being a volunteer at the museum is a great opportunity to be involved in a growing attraction and a chance to make a visitor’s time with us truly exceptional