The museum is entirely staffed by volunteers – scores of them.
That means everything you can think of that needs doing is done by volunteers from the local community.
Here’s a selection of what people do (and many people do several things):
- greeting visitors
- vacuuming and dusting
- emptying dehumidifiers
- monitoring for pests
- drawing up rotas
- co-ordinating volunteers
- creating and maintaining the small courtyard garden
- planning and researching exhibitions
- creating displays
- answering enquiries by email, phone or in person
- stocking the shop
- selling shop items
- sorting and documenting items in the collection
- making sure collection items are kept in optimum conditions
- writing reports
- producing publicity
- maintaining the website
- drafting policy documents
- checking and implementing health and safety measures
- DIY projects
- keeping everyone informed
- planning ahead
- liaising with other museums and museum groups
- leading guided walks
- giving talks
- working with schools
- hosting museum events
- working with other organisations (such as Thornbury in Bloom, the Memory Café, the Arts Trail, the Arts Festival)
- and many, many other things!
It works best when people work together on a task. As a result, the museum is a sociable place to be. And it’s definitely informal.
Some people are able to give one or two half-days a month, others come in once a week, others are in several days a week. It’s entirely flexible and people do whatever suits their own circumstances. Often what starts off as a small commitment grows, as people get involved in different aspects of museum life.
At the moment, we’d like to recruit some extra people for the front-of-house, the people who welcome visitors at the front desk. There’s more to the role than just that though. These volunteers are actually called Custodians and they perform a vital function.
You may have an interest in history, want to do something for the local community, make new friends, learn new skills. Most of us come with some combination of these. If you’re looking for something to fill a few hours, come in and have a chat.