Volunteer with us
Our wonderful volunteer team lies at the very heart of the American Museum & Gardens and is made up of around 150 dedicated men and women, all keen to share their enthusiasm, knowledge, and passion for the decorative arts, American history, and our glorious estate. Between them they donate an amazing 16,500 hours of their time, a level of commitment that makes us a really special place to start your volunteer journey.
But ask 10 of our team what motivates them to volunteer and you’ll likely get 10 different answers! So, what are you looking for from volunteering?
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 and so 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 is 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).
Whatever your background or age (over 18), join our team and we will work closely with you to match your skills and aspirations to one of our many and varied roles. If you are passionate about decorative arts and history, how about becoming a Room Guide and enjoy sharing your knowledge with our visitors. Each year, we offer a different special exhibition in our dedicated gallery space – check out our Exhibitions page to see if stewarding in this year’s presentation is for you. If you love the great outdoors then lead tours of our spectacular gardens, be at one with nature as a volunteer gardener, or tie our famous Tussie Mussie posies on the terrace. And if working with the younger generation is your forté, support our Learning Officer to deliver pupil workshops as part of our schools programme.
From time to time, we can also offer other opportunities. You can: sign up with the Events team to help in the setting up and stewarding of our public events; join in workshops and help behind-the-scenes with our Christmas preparations; help with filing and archiving in the Curatorial department; lend administrative support; or assist the front-of-house team with our visitor welcome.
All these individual roles are open to every volunteer on the team, giving you the chance to vary your experiences with us. Whichever roles are the right ones for you, we’ll support you to develop through training, knowledge sharing, and social events with other volunteers and, in return for your generous support, we can promise you an amazing experience to tick all your boxes. Sound just what you’re looking for? Then please get in touch and let us start working with you to fulfil your volunteering ambitions.
Read the key role profiles to find the one for you and complete the application form below or, alternatively, email [email protected] to get the ball rolling. We look forward to welcoming you!
For students aged between 14 and 19, we run an exciting work experience programme. Find out more here.