Fancy helping people how to tell their Manets from their Monets? Or their gardenias from their gladiolus? Then maybe volunteering with museums and the National Trust might just be your thing. And you don’t have to go for the well-known names, remember there might be plenty of small museums local to you where there could be more opportunities to get involved.

If you’re a culture vulture, get in touch with your local museum. Here are a few ideas from across the country:


  • The Victoria and Albert Museum - you can help out on the information desk, be a tour guide, escort people with disabilities or help with admin. You’ll get trained, invited to special talks and behind-the-scenes tours, as well as previews to special exhibitions and discounts in their shop and restaurant.
  • The Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere has around 12 volunteers at any one time. The Trust's volunteer programme provides volunteers with a place to live, some basic expenses and a training programme. 
  • The Newlyn Art Gallery in Penzance is always on the look-out for enthusiastic volunteers. Get involved with everything from front of house to the bookshops and cafes, as well as the exhibition and education programmes and marketing and fundraising departments. You’ll get the chance to work alongside leading international artists, learn new skills and meet new people. The gallery welcomes people of all ages and backgrounds and previous experience is not necessary.
  • The Curatorial and Collections Department of the National Portrait Gallery offers a variety of internships, placements and voluntary work.
  • The National Trust has opportunities to volunteer in the countryside or a National Trust garden, to be a steward in a trust property, or work on the administrative or research side. The trust even runs working holidays for volunteers. 
  • Do you agree the devil is in the detail and like to put order where there was chaos? If so then helping out at the Bowes Museum might just be the thing for you. They are preparing to launch a new library and archive facility and are looking for volunteers to help with things like cataloguing books and archives, translation, shelving and labeling and data entry. 
  • The Tate sometimes has volunteer internships you can get involved in. 
  • Passionate about planes and want to take part in the annual air show as a flight-line attendant?  Or excited to recount the tales about the BAC1-11 and Comet aircraft to the general public? Then take a look at the National Museums Scotland which has approximately 200 volunteers involved in a range of roles from events and admin to helping with the collections and public programmes.
  • The Science Museum has a variety of roles for volunteers ranging from helping the public, working directly with the collections or working alongside their learning teams to learn new ways to inspire young visitors in science. 
  • The Natural History Museum has over 200 active volunteers involved in a range of roles, from teaching and interacting with visitors, being a wildlife gardener, cataloguing the collections or helping behind the scenes.

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