New adventures, shared passions

January 17, 2020 -

Our Volunteers Manager Sharon Blanchard talks about the benefits of being a volunteer and why the American Museum & Gardens is a great place to start. 


It’s the start of a new decade and in the downtime over the holidays you doubtless turned your thoughts and dreams to the year ahead, making resolutions, maybe even making plans to take the plunge and try something completely new.
High on that list of aspirations may well have been to give volunteering a go. But where to start? Ask 10 people what motivates them to volunteer and you’ll get 10 different answers!
Perhaps you are recently retired but determined to stay mentally and physically active; maybe you live alone and want to avoid the sort of isolation that can too easily result; perhaps you feel your social life needs a boost and you are looking to make new friendships with others who share your interests. Self-fulfilment will undoubtedly be important to you as will a burning desire to improve your own knowledge or share your passions, or maybe you see volunteering as a stepping stone to a future career. Or maybe it’s none of these and you have your own special reason for reaching out.
What’s clear is that one size doesn’t fit all so finding the right volunteer role for you is crucial. Choose well and your life will be enhanced, the rewards tremendously satisfying. “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give”, said former Prime Minister Winston Churchill (who coincidentally gave his first political speech here at Claverton Manor).

A special place

In 2019 the wonderful team here at the American Museum & Gardens donated an amazing 16,500 hours of their time, a level of commitment and support that makes us a really special place to start your volunteer journey.
Whatever your age or background, join our team and we’ll work closely with you to match your skills and aspirations to one of our many and varied roles. If you’re passionate about history how about becoming a room or exhibition guide, and enjoy sharing your knowledge with our visitors. If you love the great outdoors then lead tours of our spectacular new gardens, be as one with nature as a volunteer gardener, or tie our famous Tussie Mussie posies in the Herb Shop.
If working with the younger generation is your forté, support our Learning Officer to deliver our schools programme, or sign up with the Events team to help in the setting-up and stewarding of our public events. From time to time, we can also offer other roles behind the scenes helping with our Christmas preparations, filing and cataloguing with our curatorial team, or assisting the front of house team with our visitor welcome.
We’ll support you to develop your role through training, knowledge sharing and social events with other volunteers and, in return for your generous support, we can promise you an inspiring, amazing experience to tick all your boxes so, please get in touch with us and let us start working with you to fulfil your volunteering ambitions.
You’ll find more information, including volunteer role descriptions and an application form, here or simply email to get the ball rolling.