Careers & Volunteering

VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITIES

Wentworth Woodhouse has a dedicated team of volunteers, who give their time across a variety of roles – do you think you might like to join them?

People volunteer with us for many reasons – most often, as a way of giving something back to the community and the satisfaction around knowing that, they have contributed towards the house and its preservation for future generations.

Volunteering with us gives you:

• structure to your day and a sense of achievement
• a challenge and an opportunity for personal development
• an opportunity to learn new skills or to use your lifetime skills
• an opportunity to meet others and to make social contact

May anyone volunteer?

Volunteers are an integral part of the team at Wentworth Woodhouse and we appoint them with all possible care and attention. There is a simple application form, two references are asked for and dependent on the role you choose, a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. We arrange all this for you, so don’t worry about the process.

No special skills are needed and all relevant training will be given. We have volunteers of all ages and from all walks of life. Some of our volunteers also have full-time jobs in the week and they volunteer for us at the weekend. Couples are also welcome to apply.

Will it cost me anything?

No, you are not expected to be out of pocket for the help you give the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust. We reimburse reasonable travel expenses.

What training will I receive?

Each volunteer role has a written role description, clearly stating what the role involves. Wherever possible, new volunteers are placed with more experienced volunteers, so you can learn as you go along. You will never be asked to undertake any role for which, you have not received appropriate instruction. All our training is provided free of charge.

Is there a minimum amount I have to do each week?

Every role is different. In all areas we can be flexible about the time given. Some volunteers come in several times a week, others less often. We appreciate that many volunteers have a lot of demands on their time so we try to accommodate this by being as flexible as possible.

Do volunteers do the same things as paid staff?

Volunteers usually do not carry out the work of paid staff. Volunteers add quality to the services that we offer by giving their time to support and assist paid staff to provide a high-quality effective service to our visitors in a busy working historic environment.

Is volunteering the same as work experience?

No. Volunteers don’t usually undertake work done by paid staff and volunteering is not a means of gaining work experience, but of course volunteering can enhance your CV and offer exciting opportunities.

How do I apply to become a volunteer at Wentworth Woodhouse?

Please either telephone or email Alison our Volunteer Coordinator in the first instance:

Telephone: 01226 351161
Email: alison@wentworthwoodhouse.org.uk

VOLUNTEER ROLES

Volunteer Scaffold Tour Guide

Purpose of role:
To deliver enjoyable and engaging experiences for all our visitors. To interpret the work being carried out and give visitors a once-in-a-lifetime look at the restoration of our roof.

What the role requires: (relevant training will be given)

  • Give factually accurate, entertaining and timely guided tours of the roof scaffold
  • Issue all with high vis vests and go through safety briefing. Supervise groups with regard to their safety whilst up the scaffold – it may be noisy and windy throughout the tour
  • Be aware of the fire alarm and the action to take to safely evacuate a group if the need arises
  • Be able to use the scaffold lift

Person specification:

  • Friendly and approachable
  • Ability to work outdoors and at height
  • Willingness to commit to certain number of tours a day
  • Knowledge / experience of how to speak successfully to groups
  • Knowledge / experience of how to successfully manage groups
  • Ability to change the tours as work progresses – contractors will give regular updates and tour content will need to adapt to keep up to date
  • Ability to move around safely on what is essentially a building site
  • Experience of using two-way radios
  • Reliable, organised, and self-motivated

Please see the full role profile > Volunteer Role Description – Scaffold Tours

Volunteer Tea Room Assistant

Purpose of role:
To assist the Catering Manager in the opening, closing and smooth running of the ‘front of house’ Butler’s Pantry Tea Room.

What the role requires: (relevant training will be given)

  • Maintaining an excellent level of service to our visitors – remaining visible and accessible to visitors throughout the shift
  • Serving drinks, cakes and food from the front of house tea room area
  • Becoming barista trained
  • Serving prepared food from the kitchen (not preparing it)
  • Taking food orders and communicating with the kitchen
  • A commitment to upselling – i.e. offering biscuits with drinks, highlighting soup of the day, etc.
  • Taking payments and using the electronic till
  • Clearing and cleaning tables
  • An awareness of the action to take in case of fire / fire alarm
  • Working alongside other volunteers doing a similar role

Person specification:

  • Smart, friendly and approachable with excellent personal presentation
  • Used to interacting with the public
  • Experience of working in the hospitality sector
  • Health and safety aware
  • Reliable, organised and self-motivated
  • Level 1 Food Safety Awareness certificate is desirable – additional training may be offered

Please see the full role profile > Volunteer Role Description – Tea Room Assistant

Garden Volunteers

Days and times to be agreed with Head Gardener

This group of volunteers works with the existing gardening team to clear, enhance and restore areas of the gardens at Wentworth Woodhouse.

Tasks
Tidying / dead-heading / weeding / mulching / border upkeep / planting and caring for trees, shrubs, plants and bulbs / maintaining paths / picking & collection of fruit, vegetables & flowers / litter collection / path inspections / edging / bramble clearing / specific projects

Core skills
• An interest in historic gardens
• An ability to work outside
• Reasonable physical fitness

Responsible to: Head Gardener

Front of House Volunteers

Weekdays – four two-hour shifts between 8.30am and 4.30pm

Offering a warm welcome to visitors at the front of the house

Tasks

  • Answering the door and welcoming our visitors
  • Signing in visitors and issuing badges
  • Answering visitor enquiries
  • Directing visitors to relevant staff members

Core skills
• Warm and welcoming personality
• Good communication skills
• Familiarity with a two-way radio

Responsible to: Visitor Operations Manager

Event / Wedding Volunteers

As and when required for specific events – some evening and weekends as well as weekdays
To assist the Events Team in set up / take down of various events across the site. Some tasks may be physically demanding – it is possible to undertake a less demanding Event Volunteer role if you prefer.

Tasks
• Assisting the Events Team at events which may include: Classic Car Shows / Food Fairs / Christmas Market / Information events / Filming / Photography etc.
• Be familiar with the use of two-way radios

Core skills
• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
• Ability to relate to other people
• Experience of speaking successfully to groups
• Experience of managing groups

Responsible to: Visitor Operations Manager

Housekeeping Volunteers

Days and times to be agreed with the Housekeeper

These volunteers work closely with the Housekeeper to ensure that the interior of the house is maintained and presented to a high standard.

Tasks
• Vacuuming / cleaning / dusting
• Housekeeping in advance of an event – i.e. wedding / private function
• Housekeeping following an event – clean up
• To notify Housekeeper of any issues encountered / items needing ordering
• To help with the in-house laundry
• Maintain housekeeping standards and observe the cleaning schedule

Core skills
• An interest in historic interiors and their care
• Ability to work alone or as part of a team

Responsible to: Housekeeper