Volunteers make a vital difference to our work and we are extremely grateful to all our volunteers whose time and effort bring so much to the Herbert and its visitors.
What Do Volunteers Do?
The majority of the Herbert's volunteers work directly with the public in roles as diverse as Welcome Hosts, Workshop Assistants, Retail Support and Exhibition Guides. Other volunteers support the work of our curatorial, archives, learning, and marketing and collection teams. Volunteer support is crucial, enabling us to enrich our offer to the public, and supporting our aim of bringing history and the arts to life in Coventry.
You don't need to have specialist knowledge to volunteer, just an enthusiasm for our work and a willingness to learn new skills and/or working practices.
Volunteers at the Herbert come from a variety of backgrounds and industries. Our youngest volunteers are 16 and our oldest volunteers are enjoying their retirement years.
Some of our volunteers are only able to offer us an hour per week; others are able to support us for longer. The Herbert is open to the public from 10 – 4 Mondays to Saturdays and 12 - 4 Sundays; and Volunteers are asked to commit to at least 1 session per week (morning or afternoon) for a minimum period of 4 weeks but are welcome to volunteer for longer periods. Volunteers at the Lunt Roman Fort are offered opportunities within the seasonal opening times.
Herbert Volunteers are given training, offered opportunities for behind the scenes tours and are invited to exhibition previews and given discounts in the Herbert Shop and Herbert Café.
People volunteer with us for a variety of reasons. Here are some reasons why our current volunteers are with us:
- For enjoyment
- To get involved and share their enthusiasm for our museum and art gallery
- To make new friends
- To gain skills
- To get work experience
- To maintain skills continuity
- To add to their CV
- To gain an award or qualification
- To share their talents
- To help others
- To make an impact in their community
Volunteer role descriptions will identify what are skills are needed and also whether the role is open-ended or for a specific time period. For example volunteers who help us with a public facing role need to enjoy meeting people, have a sense of fun and be interested in the museum, its collections and exhibitions.
How to Volunteer
Every month we hold a general information session for prospective volunteers at the museum.
The information session is very informal. Its purpose is to give prospective volunteers some background on the Herbert, with a brief tour and an overview of the current roles that are available. There is no commitment on either side and you will be given an opportunity to talk individually with the volunteer coordinator if you wish.
If you are interested in a specific role but cannot find it in our current opportunities please download the expression of interest form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief explanation of your interests and experience.
Early Years Exhibition Assistant
To support the front of house team and family visitors in our annual and very popular early years exhibition. This year the exhibition is called ‘A Very Viking Voyage’ and is a space filled with dens to hide in, tunnels to crawl through, things to touch and sensory based items to play with. Being a volunteer in this space will involve greeting families and talking to them on a very casual basis, helping them to feel relaxed in the environment and encouraging them to play, move around the space and not worry about making a mess!
The exhibition is not a collections or object-based exhibition, but instead a space to play, use imaginations and be creative. As part of your role as a volunteer there will be an expectation that you will help to maintain the space and tidy play items up throughout the day, but without impacting on families' play. A full briefing of this space will be provided for you by our Family Learning Officer. This role is ideal for anyone with a friendly and playful nature, and looking to gain experience with family and Early Years audiences.
Find out more.
This summer, the Herbert are hosting a touring exhibition from the Jorvik Centre in York. Fearsome Craftsmen focuses on how the Vikings lived once they settled in the UK and uses objects such as shoes, jewellery and tools to tell the story of their everyday lives.
As a Gallery Enabler, you will assist the Front of House team in making sure visitors enjoy their time in the exhibition, but making sure that the security and safety of the visitors and the exhibits is always maintained.
The role will include:
- Welcoming visitors into the gallery
- Discussing the exhibition with visitors.
- Directing visitors to areas of the exhibition they may find most interesting or suitable - for example pointing out the interactive areas to families.
- Helping with the maintenance of the interactive areas to make sure they are tidy and safe to use.
- Assisting the FOH staff by making sure that the exhibits are being used safely and visitors are not putting themselves at risk.
- Informing visitors about the museum and other activities and events taking place.
Find out more
Viking Family Day Assistants (28 July)
To support the Viking Family Day on 28 July, which is our biggest family day of the year. On average we attract over 3000 visitors as part of our summer family days and this year will be no exception. We have a whole host of exciting activities planned for you to get involved with, including living history characters displaying Viking weapons and teaching families how to become a Viking warrior. We have award winning storytelling company Annamation in to retell the legend of Thor’s missing hammer. Plus there will be crafts activities, artist led workshops, stop-motion animation filming, face painting, dance workshops and of course our two Viking exhibitions, Fearsome Craftsmen and A Very Viking Voyage.
Find out more.
Summer Holidays Learning Activities Assistant
To support the Learning Team with the delivery of the summer holiday craft activities – themed on the Vikings. Each day there will be a different art and craft activity for our family audiences to get involved with. We will be making a whole host of exciting things with families, including Thor’s hammer, Viking boats, clay pots, jewellery and lots more! See the What’s On section of the website for a full breakdown of activities.
Find out more.
Visitor Research Assistant
Flexible and varied time | Ongoing
Working with our Audience Development Manager you will research our visitor's experience by carrying out face to face surveys. This role will also involve survey data inputting.
Expression of interest form