If you thought volunteering with the National Trust would be stuffy, boring or maybe even dull, think again. The conservation charity has just released details of some of its vacant volunteering roles and they’re not what you might imagine.
There’s a vacancy for a Forge & Metalworker Volunteer at Patterson’s Spade Mill – National Trust images
Do you fancy being a Dog Ambassador? Or how about a Forge and Metal Worker, Book Shop Assistant or a House Volunteer? These are just some of the varied volunteering roles currently being recruited at National Trust places around the country.
Since the Covid pandemic started the charity has welcomed back 550 volunteers to its places with a total of over 36,000 volunteering hours contributed to date. Volunteers play a vital role in keeping the doors open, the gardens pruned and the collections pristine.
Speaking during National Volunteering Week, Jenny Ferguson, Volunteering & Community lead for the Trust in Northern Ireland explained the vital role that volunteers play, “Across all of our places in Northern Ireland, volunteers are integral to our work in caring for special places and opening them up for everyone to enjoy and benefit from. Over 1,500 volunteers a year bring their time, skills, energy and passion to our places and they are highly valued members of our team.
“Our volunteers tell us they get involved for so many different reasons including supporting a great cause, making new friends, sharing interests, developing new skills and spending time in places they love. There is a myriad of ways to get involved too, from getting your hands dirty caring for our gardens, to supporting our vital work to look after houses and collections. We are so grateful not just for the time they give us but for how they have been a tower of strength and encouragement for all our staff, even during the times when due to Covid19 they have not been able to actively volunteer for us.
“It’s the skills, time and passion of our volunteers that make our places special and as we reopen more of our places following the pandemic, we are delighted to continue to welcome back our existing volunteers and to warmly invite new faces to join our team too.”
Volunteering roles with the National Trust:
Dog Ambassador, Castle Coole and Florence Court, Fermanagh
What’s involved? Walking your dog around Castle Coole and Florence Court, you will encourage dog owners to be responsible and use leads where appropriate. You will role model the best dog walking behaviours, and interacting with members of the public, you will ensure that conservation areas are protected and that dogs are kept safe in these areas.
Forge & Metalworker Volunteer, Patterson’s Spade Mill, Templepatrick
What’s involved? Patterson’s Spade Mill is the last working water-driven spade mill in daily use in the British Isles. You will volunteer alongside our team of spade makers and enthusiastic volunteers to keep these skills and heritage alive and bring history to life. You’ll help get the mill ready to re-open and assist the spade makers in making spades, being a friendly face for visitors and answering any questions they may have.
House Volunteer, The Argory, Moy and Springhill, Moneymore
What’s involved? You’ll learn more about these places, so you can share all that’s special, bringing the indoors and out to life by telling their stories to visitors. You’ll welcome every visitor and help them have a safe and enjoyable visit. Encouraging visitors to discover more and making suggestions so they can make the most of their day.
Book Shop Assistant, Rowallane Garden, Saintfield
What’s involved? Rowallane is a place where you can immerse yourself and leave the outside world behind. You will help with the smooth running of the second-hand Bookshop, recommending and sorting books, restocking shelves, accepting payments and being a friendly face.
Dog’s Welcome Assistant, Rowallane Garden, Saintfield
What’s involved? You will welcome and engage with visitors, encourage responsible dog walking, promote the great walks, and help them understand the conservation work at Rowallane.
If you would like to meet new people, learn a new skill, or simply be a friendly face to welcome visitors, then a volunteering role with the National Trust might be just what you’re looking for. For more information on these opportunities visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/volunteer and search for a location near you.