Our volunteers are aged 17 to 90+ years, and come from all sorts of backgrounds with a wide range of life experience. We value the contribution everyone can bring.
Please check out the Volunteer Makers page to see volunteering opportunities at the Heritage Hub and elsewhere in Gloucester: https://engageingloucester.volunteermakers.org/
This is what our volunteers recently told us in our 2019 online Volunteer survey:
60% of our volunteers come to us because they want to learn new skills
78% of our volunteers tell us that they “want to give something back”
94% of our volunteers tell us that they enjoy themselves and have fun volunteering for us
70% of our volunteers tell us that their sense of well being has improved since they started volunteering for us
94% would recommend volunteering with us to their friends and family
90% of our volunteers tell us that they volunteer with us because they want to do something meaningful with their spare time.
“It has given me more self confidence.”
“My interest in the heritage has been strengthened and I intend to continue my volunteering and pursue other opportunities in this sector.”
“…volunteering is helping to give me the experience in archiving, so that I might be able to pursue a career in it.”
“I have enjoyed being a volunteer for the social side as well as the vast learning curve of not just local history but also national and international history, whilst doing something useful.”
“I wanted a place which allowed me to develop new skills and improve confidence through voluntary work, whilst being understanding of my mental health issues. The Archives have provided me with all of the above.”
Three cheers for volunteers! See our blog here.
Do you like chatting, laughing and biscuits? See our blog here.
See our blog about some Collections Care volunteer work on the Port of Gloucester crew lists!
Archivist Abbie blogs about the amazing catalogue enhancement done by volunteers here.
FAQs about volunteering
How do I contact the Heritage Hub saying I want to volunteer?
Will I be allocated a specific role?
Yes – we recruit with specific roles in mind. There are written Volunteer Role Descriptions for each role. The ones that are a priority (that we want to recruit to especially) will appear on our website.
Will I have to supply references?
Yes, you will be asked to give the names and contact details of 2 referees on your application form. These should not be relatives.
Will I be interviewed for the volunteer role?
Yes, although this will be very informal and more like a chat about what we want from you, and what you can expect from us.
Will I receive expenses?
Yes, all reasonable travel costs will be reimbursed. You will be shown how to complete an expenses claim form.
Is there a lower or upper age limit for volunteers?
We would not normally take someone under the age of 16, and there is no upper age limit!
Do I have to wear a uniform?
No, but we would expect your dress and appearance to be clean and tidy, and appropriate to the task (smart casual)
Would I be working with other volunteers?
Not necessarily, although you would certainly meet others and, of course, staff, and customers in some cases, depending on the role you undertake.
Will I have a named supervisor?
Yes, a member of the Heritage Hub team. Occasionally, we may use other volunteers to support and guide you.
What happens if things go wrong?
We will work with you to put things right. It may mean there is a training need on your part, or that you are not suitable for the role to which you have been allocated. All volunteer roles are initially for up to 3 months, and can be extended thereafter. On rare occasions this agreement may be terminated by us after (or before) 3 months, depending on circumstances. Gloucestershire Archives at the Heritage Hub reserves the right to terminate a volunteer agreement without notice.
Will I get any training?
There will be opportunities for you to attend some in-house training courses. These will be free to you.
Will volunteering lead to a paid job at the Heritage Hub?
This is unlikely, but it’s a great way to build up a CV and develop skills for work. If you’re older it’s a great way to keep active. And for those people who want to go on to train as archivists it offers valuable hands-on experience.
How often will I be expected to volunteer?
This is entirely up to you, and by negotiation with us. Some volunteers come in every week, others just a few times a year. A lot will depend on the task you are doing (e.g. is there a deadline?) and your own capacity. Some volunteers can do their work for us remotely (e.g. Tweeting)
What if I need support in order to volunteer?
We would discuss your needs with you and agree a way forward. In certain circumstances, for example, we can arrange mentoring for a volunteer. We’re committed to removing the barriers to volunteering that you may face. But this commitment has to be in line with the needs of the service and any issues to do with our capacity to support you adequately
Could you briefly sum up your values around volunteers?
We want you to thrive as a volunteer, as much as we want the Heritage Hub to thrive and grow with your help. We believe the relationship between the two is key; we value the contribution that volunteers make. Welcome to the Heritage Hub!