There are currently 12 volunteers that support the curator in the day to day running of the museum. There are four teams: Tour Guides, Visitor Experience, Collections and Engagement. Volunteers can stick to one team or work across multiple teams.
The Tour Guide team facilitate our group visits. These groups are varied, ranging from scouts and brownies through to U3A. Visits are on weekdays only, and can be during the day or in the evenings. A typical visit lasts 1.5 to 2 hours. Tour Guide Volunteers may operate the till, serve refreshments, answer questions and give a short talk on the history of Essex Police or a buildings tour.
The Visitor Experience team assist our visitors when we open to the public, doing tasks such as operating the till, answering questions and welcoming visitors. Their shifts are either morning, afternoon or the whole day, depending on their preference and availability. We ask for a minimum of one shift a month but you are welcome to do more than this. The Visitor Experience team may also help us at external events, like fetes and fun days.
The Collections team help catalogue and maintain our collection. Typically they will focus on one area, such photographs, objects or archives, but can work across the whole collection. Tasks for the Collections volunteers include labelling items, keeping databases up to date, digitising items and responding to research enquiries from the public. A shift is usually between 3 hours and a full day, depending on their preference and availability. All our Collections volunteers come in once a week.
The Engagement team consists of two specialist roles - Education Volunteers and a Social Media Volunteer. Education Volunteers assist the Curator with school visits and community events. Schools visits may be booked Tuesday-Friday with a typical visit being from 10am to 2pm. Our education programme covers ages 2-11, but we do have occasional visits from colleges. All visits are SEN friendly and each session can be tailored to the class learning aims. Education Volunteers help deliver the sessions, providing help and support to students to guide them in the right direction. The Social Media Volunteer will research and create engaging content across all of our platforms. Currently we have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, but we could use other platforms if the volunteer has knowledge/experience. We also have a monthly newsletter for collection stories which the Social Media Volunteer will help create content for.
Who Can Volunteer?
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate work placements at this time.
To volunteer with us you must:
Be 18 or over
Pass police vetting* (we will submit this as part of your volunteer application)
All training is provided so no previous experience is required.
*Internal applicants do not need additional vetting.
What We Offer
Full training for your role(s)
Collections care and general museum training through SHARE Museum East
References and/or evidence of the skills you've gained
Flexible hours that fit around your commitments
The chance to gain experience in a variety of museum roles
Due to an increase in demand for museum services we have many volunteer vacancies across all teams. To enquire further or apply please email us.
Each volunteer is headed up by a team leader who facilities the delegation of tasks or arranging cover for visits and museum openings. We currently have vacancies for:
Tour Guide Team Leader - responsible for booking group visits (except schools) and arranging volunteer cover.
Visitor Experience Team Leader - responsible for arranging volunteer cover for museum openings and special public events, such as Heritage Open Days. You may also delegate tasks such as cleaning, restocking or resetting interactive displays if the Curator is absent.
Collections Team Leader - responsible for delegating collections tasks to the Collections Volunteer team to ensure steady progress with collections management. You will also provide additional support for new volunteers and respond to research enquiries.