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Frequently asked questions

Volunteers can help visitors get hands-on with our collections, like this Japanese netsuke

What sort of voluntary work could I do?

You could be involved at any level of the organisations work in many different ways, from those requiring specialist skills to others where energy and enthusiasm are the only qualifications. Our volunteering opportunities can be separated into three main areas; behind the scenes, working with the public and general activities.

What if I don't see something that interests me?

Keep checking the website regularly for updates on our current opportunities. Alternatively you send us your name and contact details for our volunteer mailing list and we will let you know every

 time we have a new opportunity advertised.

Is there a minimum amount of time I must give?

There is no obligation for volunteers to work a minimum amount of time. Most opportunities are flexible, so you tell us what you can do and we will try to match you with a project that suits.

Will I be paid?

No, you will not be paid or given any payment in kind for work you carry out as a volunteer. We can only reimburse reasonable out-of-pocket expenses, eg the most economical transport possible between home and the site.

I am receiving Welfare Benefits, can I still volunteer?

Yes, but it is your responsibility to tell your Job Centre or Benefits Office.

There is no limit to the number of hours a week that a person can volunteer, so long as they continue to actively seek paid employment, are willing and able to attend interviews, and can start a job at one weeks notice.

If you receive incapacity benefit you may volunteer provided the activity does not conflict with your stated incap


Do you have any age limits for volunteering?

  • You need to be 16 or over to volunteer with us
  • There is no upper age limit. 

Will volunteers receive training?

Yes, we ensure all volunteers receive the training necessary to be able to carry out their role.

Do you accept volunteers from overseas?

Yes. There are no restrictions on volunteering by people from within the EU. However, people from countries outside the EU must already have the correct work permit or visa before applying to volunteer as we are unable to sponsor work permit or visa applications.

I've heard that I will have to be police-checked, why?

Volunteer roles that involve working directly with children or vulnerable adults will require a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) Disclosure.  The CRB check is very straightforward and details are checked against criminal records to ensure suitability for work that involves children or vulnerable adults. A criminal record will not necessarily prevent you from volunteering with us. Find out more about the process on the Directgov website.

Contact the Human Resources department for more information.