If you are interested in applying for the specific Volunteer Vacancies advertised below, or volunteering in any other capacity, please download the following documents and return them by post to:
Miriam Tong, General Manager
Gilbert White’s House & Garden
1) Volunteer Museum Assistant – Monthly Care of Stuffed Birds and Animals
Throughout the Museum we have a wide collection of stuffed specimens relating to the three explorers of the natural world celebrated here. Whilst professional conservation work is undertaken on our behalf by an expert, we would now
like to recruit a volunteer to undertake the routine monthly checking and caring of our collection.
Training and guidance will be offered to the successful applicant who should have an interest in and preferably a broad knowledge of natural history. Our collection includes many native bird species and collections of birds and animals from Central America, Africa and Antarctica. The work will include careful handling, detailed inspection, preening and dust removal. Detailed paper records of monthly care and inspection carried out will also be required.
It is envisaged that the routine checking and care of our collection would take approximately half a day a month.
2) Volunteer Kitchen Demonstrators – Weekends, Public and School Holidays
The ‘Old Kitchen’ within the Museum contains many interesting Edwardian and Victorian artefeacts, but sadly has no actual cooking facilities or running water. This clearly limits the possibilities. However, there are many things, such as bread dough making, butter pat forming, using elaborate moulds, pestle and mortar etc. that could make interesting and engaging demonstrations that our visitors could enjoy and even participate in.
Training and guidance will be offered to successful applicants who should have an interest in traditional foods and food preparation in addition to a love of sharing their interest and enjoyment with others, including children and young people.
We would now like to establish a regular programme of demonstrations / activities in the ‘Old Kitchen’, perhaps one weekend a month initially, plus on Public Holidays and regularly throughout school holidays. It is hoped that a team of demonstrators working together could fulfill this requirement, designing and delivering a range of demonstrations and activities to suit the season, equipment and resources available.
3) Volunteer Museum Assistants (x6) – African Safari with Frank Oates – Various Projects
The Frank Oates Gallery at the Museum celebrates the life and travels of Victorian explorer Frank Oates, who died at the age of just 35years shortly after making the difficult journey to the Victoria Falls. The Museum has a fascinating collection of African artefacts that we would like to make more accessible and interesting to our visitors of all ages. We would like like to pursue a number of new initiatives to achieve this.
1) We would like to produce a powerpoint presentation of African images accompanied by African music – from Victorian times to present day, featuring artefacts similar to those in our collection. This could be programmed to play on a continous loop at timed intervals within the Gallery.
This will require someone with requisite IT skills and photography skills as well as an interest in our African collection and African culture. This would lend itself to be taken on as a specific project, with days spent at the Museum to suit the volunteer.
2) We would like to assemble a handling collection of African musical instruments that visitors would be encouraged to play, providing information about how they would be made and played – and would, ideally, provide some sound clips of the instruments. This will require some IT skills, research skills and an interest in African culture, especially music. This would lend itself to be taken on as a specific project, with days spent at the Museum to suit the volunteer.
3) We would like to provide more information to visitors, appealing to all ages, about the wildlife that Frank Oates witnessed at first hand and wrote about – particularly for those specimens we have on display – and their relative numbers, importance and significance in Victorian times and today. This will require a particular interest and knowledge of African wildlife, some research and IT skills. This would lend itself to be taken on as a specific project, with days spent at the Museum to suit the volunteer.
4) We would like to provide more information to visitors about the collection of African weapons and ceremonial items in our collection, again highlighting their relative importance and significance in Victorian times and today. This will require a particular interest and knowledge of African culture, some research and IT skills. This would lend itself to be taken on as a specific project, with days spent at the Museum to suit the volunteer.
5) We would like to refresh some of the general graphics and presentation within the Frank Oates Gallery as an interim measure until we are able to invest in a professional re-development of this space. This will require some skills in research and graphic presentation work and some basic practical skills in displaying materials and artefacts. This would lend itself to be taken on as a specific project, with days spent at the Museum to suit the volunteer.
6) We would like to develop some resources for African oral story-telling, aimed principally at family visitors, using the travels of Frank Oates and the African artefacts as inspiration. This will require an interest in and some experience of oral story-telling and African culture, requiring research, literacy and oral story-telling skills. This would lend itself to be taken on as a specific project, with days spent at the Museum to suit the volunteer.