A school group at Ripon Museum Trust

Ripon Museum Trust

Wendy Hunwick-Brown, 16.09.2013
The Ripon Museum Trust works with a team of over 100 dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers in all aspects of the museums operation and development. 

Our three museums follow a common theme of law and order and are based in the original workhouse, prison and courthouse buildings.

Volunteers are crucial to the trust through their participation in: front-of-house roles, education, events, collections and curatorial work, finance and administration, maintenance and garden management as well as publicity and promotions. The three staff are supported by the volunteer board, several of whom are involved day-to-day with the museums taking on additional volunteer roles.

We follow a process recognised by Investing in Volunteers for recruiting and developing volunteers, including an introduction to the trust to identify a role that suits each individual volunteer.

All volunteers undergo induction and training with volunteer mentors supporting new volunteers helping them to settle in and develop their volunteering.

We regularly evaluate and monitor our volunteer responses through surveys, forums and events to share experiences and air any concerns.

The rewards for all of our volunteers include the enjoyment and satisfaction of sharing their knowledge and experience, making new friends, learning new skills and helping to make a difference to their local area.

Volunteers play a particularly vital role in the successful delivery of our education programme in bringing our buildings and activities to life.

The 30-strong education team have particular specialism’s across the three museums enabling schools to enjoy a very hands-on interactive service delivered 90% by volunteers.

We offer tried and tested sessions for all key stages and abilities, which give children the chance to develop a huge array of broad academic, social and personal skills led by our well-informed and enthusiastic volunteers.

Our volunteers wholeheartedly take on their historic roles adopting the costume and characteristics of the Victorian era.

Our education team have been recognised by the Heritage Education Trust honouring them with the Sandford Award for Heritage Education. They were also the regional winners of the Volunteers for Museum Learning Marsh Trust Award 2012.

Wendy Hunwick-Brown is the volunteer and visits coordinator at Ripon Museum Trust