One of the things that visitors to the Museum often comment on is the friendliness and professionalism of our different team of volunteers. We also hear that visitors may like to become more involved and perhaps join us, but sometimes may worry that they lack the required skills.
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 their journey to the Museum. If you’re interested in joining us, please find below useful information on how to become a volunteer. To apply you can download the form here and email it back at email@example.com or apply directly through our website.
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 such as lecturers, HR manager etc.., while many others have different skills that are invaluable in greeting our visitors, such as presenting to groups, engaging with children and explaining what we do. Above all, our volunteers are approachable and passionate about the Yorkshire Air Museum, with a good team spirit and able to talk to the wide variety of visitors that we welcome. Combined, they learn from one another and make for a diverse group.
So What Skills Are Required?
The ability to engage in a friendly and professional manner with our visitors is the most important skill, in conjunction with the confidence to address visitors, providing them with information tailored to their requirements. Being intuitive of non-verbal communication is advantageous – the ability to read body language.
The demographic of our visitors varies greatly, however our core museum visitors are families and coach groups looking for a memorable day out and the prospect of learning 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 larger than many people realise and our volunteers can walk quite a distance, but don’t worry there are plenty of benches around the site! We will assist you in fully understanding all aspects of the museum operations as part of the induction process.
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 Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
What Are The Benefits?
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.
This role is actually very important; this is something that people don’t realise initially. You act in an ambassadorial capacity for the Museum and the interface between the behind the scenes staff and the public who visit us to have an enjoyable day. Daily tasks will differ dependent on the department chosen, vacancies permitting. Also you will have the wonderful opportunity to be part of creating truly unique memories for our visitors on special event days and for yourself by discovering that this museum is more than just an air museum.
Being a volunteer at the museum is a great opportunity to make friends, to be involved in a growing attraction and a chance to make a visitor’s time with us truly exceptional.
Existing Volunteer Comments
“I have a lifelong interest in aircraft although no military background and my working career has been in an industry far removed from aircraft. I had visited the museum several times and always enjoyed the open space, the relaxed atmosphere, the many varied exhibits and the friendliness of the staff. When I retired recently and wanted to volunteer my time, the museum was an easy choice. Whilst it is early days for me and there is much I want to learn, I am looking forward to sharing my new found knowledge with visitors – John”
“I ‘did a bit’ with Army Aviation before school teaching; I met a Museum volunteer in my local garage and here I am. As a guide, there is a broad range of activities to get stuck into. Apart from talking to visitors, I enjoy helping with school parties, cleaning the odd aeroplane and even sweeping hangars… Highlights? There is a great group to work with and you cannot beat chatting with a visiting Canadian Halifax navigator. Come and join us!” – Bill
“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! – Ian”
“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 friend 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! – Brian”
“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 – Harry”
So How Do I Start?
If you feel this is something you would like to be involved in:
– You can easily fill the form online via this link, it would only take a few minutes!
– You can use our link at the top of the page to download the volunteer application form, to populate and send back via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
– If you live in the vicinity you are more than welcome to drop it off at the Museum main office and discuss your application with a member of staff!