Volunteers help with museum collections

More than 90 volunteers already help out at a Bradford Council museum. They support our museum staff to catalogue collections, demonstrate specialist skills and assist at special exhibitions at Cartwright Hall, Bradford Industrial Museum, Bolling Hall and Cliffe Castle.

Museum volunteers are expected to help create a warm, fun, welcoming atmosphere for visitors and their children; maintain a constant presence in the gallery; tidy books, reading corners, costumes and toys; ensure the gallery is tidy, ensure visitors behave appropriately and answer questions and direct people to exhibitions.

Age and background are irrelevant. It’s something everyone can do and enjoy, and is an opportunity to learn new skills. Volunteers are trained and also get expenses.

People can do as much as a day a week or be on a rota just for special exhibitions or events such as the immensely popular Sneaky Peek tours around Bradford City Hall which thousands of visitors have attended for a look behind the scenes.

Retired printers also get back into their role by operating the hot metal presses at the Industrial Museum to show visitors how newspapers were published and advertisements were printed before new technology came along.

The Council has a UK gold standard for working well with volunteers after successfully recruiting a diverse volunteer team to help out at a very popular children's exhibition at Cartwright Hall entitled 'A Squash and a Squeeze: Sharing Stories with Julia Donaldson’.

A new team of volunteers was recruited to work on a project to update records for objects held in reserve by our museums, initially at Bradford Industrial Museum.

The volunteers are working with curators and collections staff to record objects within the technology collections. This involves identifying objects, making records and handling historic objects, as well as working with spreadsheets and databases.

Get involved

For more information about volunteering in our museums visit the Bradford Museums website or contact volunteer co-ordinator Penny Green on 01274 435900 or 07582 109195 or email penny.green@bradford.gov.uk