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An adult standing next to a replica painted Egyptian coffin, in front of green and white curtain and replica Ancient Egypt artefacts

© Sheffield Museums

I feel part of a very worthwhile volunteer team

"I’ve been volunteering with Sheffield Museums for about 3 years now.

I am a retired Primary School teacher and have always been interested in art galleries and museums and their valuable contribution to the community. I wanted to stay active, busy and involved in the something worthwhile, so the museums volunteer role was a good choice for me.

My teaching skills have prepared me for the many varied volunteering roles I have taken on and introduced me to new challenges too! I enjoy meeting new people and finding out about the stories behind many of the interesting and diverse artefacts at the different museums.

During my time as a volunteer, I’ve been involved with helping with the varied School workshops, such as Ancient Egypt and Habitats, interacting with the staff and children and enabling them to get the most out of their visits. I enjoy being on hand with setting up and helping with craft activities and resources and sharing my knowledge about the artefacts and topics with the children which is gradually increasing!

My other volunteering roles have included helping with museums fundraising functions such as the Sheffield Museums Friends’ Christmas social, which was great fun greeting and giving information to people and being part of the volunteer team. At Christmas time, I also helped in the Handmade for Christmas shop selling some of the beautifully crafted gifts.

I’ve also researched an artist to support the Learning team, which was fascinating, and took part in the Museums by Mail community project organised during lockdown when the museums were closed. Before the pandemic, I volunteered at the Millennium Gallery at the Chatsworth art exhibition, which was a very interactive and rewarding role with lots of different visitors from a range of backgrounds.

Recently I volunteered at the Platinum Jubilee event at Weston Park Museum, engaging visitors to share their memories of the Queen and her visits to Sheffield and enjoyed showing them various souvenirs and memorabilia from the coronation.

During the school holidays, I also like to volunteer to support the family workshops using my crafting skills and having friendly chats with the visitors, particularly the children.

I really enjoy meeting all the different people who work behind the scenes of the museum making it function smoothly. Everyone is very friendly and supportive and always ensures that I’m well briefed and prepared before any volunteering activity. I feel part of a very worthwhile volunteer team! Why not give it a try?"