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An adult stood in front of a replica butchers shop in a museum gallery

© Sheffield Museums

I have felt well looked after, respected and valued

"I work full time as a Mental Health Nurse on a busy ward in Sheffield. I have always been interested in art and history and I enjoy visiting art galleries, museums and historic sites. I studied art at school and I still enjoy expressing myself through artwork, photography and crafts. As a young child I thought I would like to work in an art gallery or a museum when I was older. I have never forgotten this.

"For a few years I had been thinking about doing some volunteer work with Sheffield Museums. And last summer I decided to go for it and get in touch via the website. Before I knew it I was on the team of volunteers and was starting to do some two-hour shifts, completing surveys with visitors at Graves Gallery and Weston Park Museum.

"This led me to doing Visitor Experience shifts at Weston Park Museum and at the fantastic Leonardo da Vinci exhibition in Millennium Gallery, supporting the Visitor Assistant team to welcome visitors and help optimise their experience. I have also started doing ‘Talking Tables’ at Weston Park Museum, supervising a table of selected items that visitors can handle and have conversations about.

"Through volunteering with Sheffield Museums, I have also become involved in some volunteering work at an exciting exhibition by a local street artist, whose work I have admired for several years.

"I attended a seasonal celebration for Sheffield Museums’ volunteers in the December before the Pandemic. This was a lovely event with a buffet and a guest speaker, who delivered a fascinating talk about mid-winter traditions.

"I have found the Sheffield Museums’ staff and fellow volunteers to be very friendly and welcoming. I have felt well looked after, respected and valued. I find being even a small part of the team very rewarding and enjoyable. It is refreshing to feel involved and useful in a completely different role and environment to my regular job."