Volunteer Opportunities

Until 2018 the valuable resources held at Stonyhurst were largely accessible only to staff and pupils of the College. In Summer 2018 the museum and libraries were open to the public on a specified number of days during the college holidays and guided tours of the building were started.

The college now has plans to widen the access to the museum; to offer tours of the museum and collections for groups, led either by trained volunteers or curatorial staff. In addition, we seek to expand our existing successful education programme to more school parties, to deliver themed topics such as 'costume'; 'imagery'; 'warfare through the ages'; ’symbolism and textiles’; ’reading portraits’ and ‘communications’, using resources from the museum and collections.

To facilitate these plans the college is offering a number of part time volunteer roles. These roles in general will appeal to anyone with an interest in history, art, culture or architecture and who has a confident, friendly and welcoming personality.

Volunteers will be fully trained to carry out their tasks and will be taken on an enhanced tour of the college building, the museum and the collections. All volunteers will be asked to undergo a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, and will receive formal training in safeguarding.

It is envisaged that at the end of twelve month’s volunteering, that the role will reviewed and renewed by mutual agreement.

Opening hours to the public are 10am until 4pm on specified dates in July and August. We ask volunteers to arrive half an hour before opening, at 9:30am. Tea, coffee and lunch will be provided.

Throughout the year, there will also be opportunities for volunteers to be involved in a wider range of cultural and heritage events hosted at the college, including theatre events and concerts.

Please note due to the nature of our historic buildings, volunteers will require a good level of mobility as there are steps throughout the building.

We are interested in hearing from anyone interested in any of the following volunteering roles or activities. The final decision on the role preference and suitability will rest with the curatorial staff.

Volunteer Roles:

Museum/Collections Room Steward

This role will appeal to volunteers who wish to be based in the museum and libraries.

Duties:

- Welcome all visitors and give out activity sheet for children.

- Ensure visitors safety through adherence to Health & Safety guidelines.

- Watch over the room, as a security overview for the objects.

- Be happy to answer visitor questions or pass on queries to the curatorial team. (Previous in-depth knowledge is not required).

- Escort visitors between reception and the museum and libraries, and toilets as necessary.

- Assist in the evacuation of visitors in the event of any emergency.

 

Museum/Collections Tour Guide

This role will appeal to volunteers who are confident to lead groups round the museum and/or collections while delivering a pre-prepared script. Previous experience of acting as a tour guide in a historic building would be advantageous but is not essential. A member of the curatorial staff will always be on hand.

Duties:

- Welcome all visiting groups at reception and ensure that visitor ID passes are issued correctly.

- Ensure visitor safety through adherence to Health & Safety guidelines.

- Conduct visiting groups on a pre-planned tour of the museum and or collections.

- Identify items of interest according to a pre-prepared script.

- Be happy to answer visitor questions or pass on queries to the curatorial team. (Previous in-depth knowledge is not required).

- Ensure that all visitors are guided back to reception.

- Assist in the evacuation of visitors in the event of any emergency.

- Advise visitors of location of toilets and accompany visitors as necessary.

 

Education Programme Facilitator

This role will appeal to volunteers who have an interest in receiving training to deliver sessions on specified topics to parties of pupils from schools within and outside of Stonyhurst College. The sessions will be for pupils at Primary School Key Stage 2, age 7-11.

Volunteers will receive appropriate training and induction before any requirement to lead sessions.

There will be an initial opportunity to observe a session delivered by a member of the curatorial staff to enable volunteers to decide if this is something they wish to do. Subsequently, for those interested, volunteers would initially be mentored by a member of the curatorial staff.

There will be the possibility of expanding the role to manage teaching sessions in a more advanced capacity, subject to individual ability and inclination.

Previous experience of classroom teaching or assistance would be useful but is not essential.

Duties:

- Welcome all visiting school groups at reception and ensure that visitor ID passes are issued correctly.

- Working with accompanying school teaching staff, ensure visitor safety and give appropriate guidance.

- Conduct visiting groups to the appropriate venue.

- Assist in the delivery of an educational session of approximately one hour on a specified pre-prepared topic, in conjunction with curatorial staff.

- Assist curatorial staff in ensuring the safety of any artefacts used in the presentation or located in the venue.

- Work with visiting staff to maintain classroom control.

- Be happy to answer any general questions or pass on queries to the curatorial team.

- Ensure that all visitor groups are guided back to reception.

- Assist in the evacuation of visitor groups in the event of any emergency.

- Advise visitor group leaders of location of toilets and accompany pupils as required.

 

Project Volunteering Activity

This role will suit those who wish to be involved with the collections on a more task-oriented basis, for example assisting curatorial staff with the organisation of artefacts or in the cataloguing of the archives. The choice of projects is subject to volunteer interest and experience and the needs of the curatorial staff; this will be discussed at an initial interview. Previous examples include cataloguing historic photographs, drawing up handlists of medieval manuscripts, researching aspects of the collections for exhibition interpretation.

If you are interested in volunteering at Stonyhurst in any of the above roles we would be delighted to hear from you. There is a simple application process, which will include an informal interview with a member of the curatorial staff.

Following the interview, a decision will be made by the curatorial staff, and the necessary administrative work will be put in hand.

All volunteers will need to have a current DBS certificate prior to starting their duties.

If you are interested in learning more about any of these opportunities please contact Alan Osborne by email on a.osborne@stonyhurst.ac.uk.