Our Volunteer Guide project started when the Collections Centre opened in February 2016 and the involvement of the 80 Volunteers has been vital to allowing visitors access to the collection. In fact, we could not open the building without them.
So successful have they been in welcoming visitors, giving tours and interpreting the collection, that it was decided to introduce Volunteers onto the main Museum floor this spring, to enhance the visitor experience.
This has meant our existing team of 80 have had to absorb details of many more vehicles and, for me, has resulted in a recruitment campaign to increase the team by 20-30 people.
The process starts with a Role Profile posted on the website, this generates application forms, leading to an informal chat over coffee with the Curator and myself. An induction follows for those chosen, a handbook given, uniforms and name badges ordered, a “walk and talk” through the collection with Stephen, Head of Collections, and Cat, Curator, and the new team are ready to start.
This month we welcomed 18 new Volunteers, who will be split between the Museum and Collections Centre. So, please say hello when you visit. We hope that whatever personal motivations and goals are, we can help to fulfil aspirations for volunteering through good quality training, excellent support and the opportunity to make a difference by sharing old skills and learning new ones. And, we hope, making new friendships. Giving time and skill to the Museum must be enjoyable for the Volunteer; that in turn gives enjoyment and education to all who visit the Museum while helping to preserve and protect the heritage and legacy of this great place.
Thank you to all the Volunteers who give time to the community and to us at the British Motor Museum.
BY SONJA DOSANJH, VOLUNTEER CO-ORDINATOR