Volunteering

Who We Are & Why We Need You

Have you considered volunteering at Ramsey Rural Museum?

We are run entirely by volunteers, with our youngest volunteers in their thirties and our oldest well into their eighties.

We have no paid staff and so if we are legally and physically able to do something, we do it. This means we have opportunities for everyone who wishes to volunteer. It does not matter who you are, how much time you can offer, or what you are willing or able to do. We will be pleased to see you and you will be able to contribute.

Helen building shed doors
It is not all work

When We Volunteer

We have some people who simply help out on our busy event days – a few days a year – and others who live and breathe the museum. Some come only to the regular volunteers’ work day (Thursdays), some work mainly at home, and others only come when we are open. So, any pattern of volunteering can generally be accommodated.

What We Do

Listed below are the main areas in which our volunteers work. If any take your fancy either Contact Us or drop into the museum any Thursday, when you can talk to us and we can show you around and discuss what you might wish to do. Where appropriate, we offer full training.

Administration

Running the museum is like running any other public organisation – we have financial, statutory, management and marketing tasks that have to be completed to keep the show on the road. We have a Board of Trustees and an Operations Committee that between them run the museum. Consequently, we always have opportunities for people with organisational, promotional, managerial or financial skills.   

The paperwork is never ending

Catering

The tea room is open when the museum is open and so we have a constant need for volunteers to serve in it. On a wet Monday early in the season this can be a peaceful way to spend a few hours, but on major event days it is the busiest and most hectic place in the museum. 

The tea room on a quiet day

Conservation

With over 4000 items on display, just keeping them clean and in “show-condition” is a major task which we struggle to keep on top of. Additionally, we constantly need to renovate and conserve the old, and often fragile, exhibits. Conservation tasks can range from major renovations taking months to complete to simply dusting or washing of exhibit.

Farm machinery being restored

Curation

Our curators assess each item offered to the museum and if we accept them the object has to be photographed and the details recorded in our Catalogue Database. We regularly refresh our display areas to include new items and objects we have had in storage. The work is varied, from office work to the artistic presentation of the objects, and is on-going.

An entry from the catalogue

Education

One of our major reasons for existence is to inform and educate. People with specialist educational skills enable us to develop our educational offerings for schools and adult groups, but we can, and do, make use of all of our volunteers’ skills and enthusiasm for this task.

Archaeological dig

Events

Each year we organise a number of large outdoor events and various talks and meetings.  These are vital sources of income for us and provide an opportunity to reach people who would, perhaps, not otherwise visit the museum. The planning and organisation of the events is a major task, with work starting a year in advance for major events. On the day, stewarding can involve every volunteer we have available.

A site plan for an event

Site Maintenance

We occupy a large site, with extensive grounds and number of historical buildings. Consequently, maintaining the fabric of the museum is a major task which continues throughout the year. We can always find work for people with building trade skills, but equally we can use anyone with basic DIY or domestic cleaning skills.

Hugh with Fergie (the tractor)

Technology

Like any modern organisation we make widespread use of relevant technologies including internal IT systems, cloud-based applications, site security measures, point of sale equipment and website maintenance. All of which we manage ourselves.

IT maintenance (hat optional)

Visitor Care

We take great care to welcome our visitors and require volunteers to be on duty to open the museum and meet and greet whenever we are open. First aid experience is helpful, but the most important attributes are warmth and friendliness – we want people to come back.

Visitors on a busy event day