Join our team as a volunteer

your museum needs youOur volunteers are at the heart of everything we do at Weston Museum and as such their value is immeasurable.

From the friendly face of welcome, to behind the scenes admin and research, there isn’t a single part of our service that volunteers are not involved with.

We pride ourselves on our inclusive culture and welcome volunteers from all walks of life and the diversity this brings to the team.

Why we need you!

To maintain the Museum for the community of Weston-super-Mare and it’s visitors, we actively encourage and passionately need volunteers to become a vital part of our team. Our volunteers give their time for a variety of different reasons; some are passionate about history and heritage, some are using the skills gained through their volunteer experience as a stepping stone to paid employment, and some simply want to avoid social isolation. Whatever your reason may be, joining our team will enable you to fulfill personal goals whilst helping sustain your local community museum.

What can we offer you?

We are committed to provide and promote equal opportunities and openly encourage diversity amongst our volunteer team. All of our volunteers are supported by our induction process and within their chosen roles. We offer a variety of training opportunities to enable our volunteers to gain new skills and knowledge. The museum team also aims to give our volunteers an enjoyable and stimulating experience in a safe and welcoming environment. We hope to be in a position to help with personal growth and well-being and we are always conscious of just how our volunteers can make a difference. Working as a team, we do not differentiate between paid staff and volunteers; we celebrate success from all team members.

Our volunteer family

People volunteer for a variety of different reasons but if you were to ask any of our volunteer team there isn’t one who would say they do it for the recognition but recognise them we do. We recognise and appreciate every hour they give to making the museum what it is today. We never forget that the museum simply couldn’t function or operate the services it does without the continued support of our volunteers.

Annual Awards Evening

One of the ways we like to thank our volunteers is at the annual awards evening held every year in June during national volunteer’s week. It is an opportunity for all staff and councillors to come along and spend quality time with our amazing team, including the ones who are usually busy behind the scenes. More importantly, it gives the volunteers themselves the opportunity to meet people they might not normally encounter in their role. As well as the lovely food, provided by the café staff, volunteers can look forward to the awards themselves which celebrate just exactly how much time they gave the previous year. The coveted ‘Milestone Awards’ are always good fun, these little pebbles representing either 100 or 500 hundred hours bring out a good-natured competitive streak amongst the team. That said be it 1 hour or 1000 hours that our volunteers give each year the awards evening is enjoyed by all and is one of the highlights of our museum calendar.

Outings & Trips

Something we are keen to build on for our volunteers is the success we have had with outings and trips. In the past, we have had great fun visiting other heritage sites in the area and holding social events such as a picnic in the park. We have also had volunteers from other heritage venues come to us for visits which is also something we would like to build on.

Feedback Friday

It is not just what our volunteers do that is important it is also what they see, hear and think! Feedback from our volunteers is invaluable because it lets us know if we are getting it right. If our volunteers are happy our visitors are happy and that makes us happy. Feedback Friday is a way for volunteers to come and chat over any concerns or ideas they have in an informal, 1-1 (confidential if they wish) setting. It is a really good way for our volunteers to ‘unload’ which is great for their wellbeing.

Volunteer FaceBook Page

When you join our volunteer team you can, if you wish, join our volunteer Facebook group. This is a private group for invited members only where volunteers can interact with other volunteers and staff. It is a great way to get to know each other and share things, if you love your garden, cat, dog, the last book you have read or have some ‘funnies’ that have made you chuckle you can share them on here with the rest of the family.

Benefits of volunteering

Have you heard of the happiness affect? Many studies have shown that helping others kindles happiness and the more you help the happier you feel. Volunteering is a great way to help others but more than that it is a great way to help yourself;

  • It is a great way to meet new people.
  • It can strengthen your ties to the community and broaden your support network by introducing you to people with shared interest and community resources
  • It is proven to increase self-confidence, self-esteem and wellbeing
  • It can give you a purpose and a sense of belonging which can help prevent social isolation
  • It is a great way to improve existing or learn new skills and get work experience
  • It is great for your physical and mental health

Volunteer Roles

Application

If you would like to apply to join our volunteer team you will need to fill out an application form which you can download from this table. It is worth having a look at the different roles we have available so that you can indicate the area you are interested in on your application form. You can find all of our current role descriptions here. Once you have completed your application form please forward it to our volunteer coordinator either via email (to Lisa.Clemons@wsm-tc.gov.uk) or post.

What to Expect

Informal Interview

Once we have received your completed application you will be contacted by our volunteer coordinator. If there is a vacancy for the role you have applied for you will be asked to attend an informal interview to chat about the role and why you would like to join the team. This is a great opportunity for you to ask any questions and tell us a bit about yourself. If it is mutually agreed that you are suited for the role you will be asked to attend an induction.

Induction Mornings

Our volunteer inductions are an important part of becoming a volunteer at Weston Museum (you will not be able to sign up for your first shift until you have completed your induction). The first part of the morning is devoted to a tour of the museum by either the museum manager or one of our supervisors. During the tour you will be shown all aspects of the museum (including the areas not open to the public), the fire exits, staff and volunteer areas and you will be given an overview of how day to day operations work.

After a refreshment break the second part of the morning is spent with our volunteer coordinator who will give you an overview of how our volunteering program works along with what you need to know regarding health & safety, equality & diversity and safeguarding. The morning will finish with an introduction to find my shift which is the digital rota our volunteers use.

First Shift

Once you have completed your induction you can sign up for your first shift. This will be arranged to coincide with a time when you will be able to meet the member of staff who is in charge of your team. You will be met by our volunteer coordinator who will go through some paperwork and risk assessments with you before being introduced to your team leader/supervisor. After your first shift our volunteer coordinator will catch up with you either in person or via email to see how you got on and check everything went ok.

Training

All role-specific training will be provided by your team leader/supervisor but there are various other training opportunities for volunteers throughout the year. These are arranged by our volunteer coordinator and are free of charge.

Going Forward

Going forward you will have a 1-1 catch up with our volunteer coordinator after three months, and annual 1-1’s after that. These are to enable you to discuss how you are getting on and if your expectations are being met.