Can you be a friendly face helping to welcome visitors to our largest branch, The Hold?

The Hold is designed to be an open and welcoming space for our local people and community groups to explore heritage – and we need friendly faces to complete this experience! Many people will be visiting for the first time and they may not have even been into an archive before so we want our visitors to feel free to explore our public spaces as well as comfortable using the services we offer.

Why get involved?

The chance to build up your confidence in communicating with a diverse variety of people as well as improving your interpersonal skills. If you are interested in a career or jobs that are customer facing such as in retail or hospitality, or in sectors such as heritage or tourism. It is a great way to learn more about your local heritage and interact with our exhibitions, meet new people and share your enthusiasm with others!

Visitor Welcome volunteer

We are always welcoming lots of visitors to The Hold, from students to first time visitors. We’re looking for volunteers to support our welcome area and be the first port of call for our visitors. You could be helping people find their way around the building, keeping the front desk tidy and leaflets up to date and engaging visitors with our fixed exhibitions in the welcome space as well as letting visitors know what events/exhibitions are on or coming up.

 The roles will be on a flexible rota so you can decide which dates you want to come in and whether you would like to volunteer in the morning or afternoon. Please be aware, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, you will be asked to complete a health survey.

A volunteer, who is in a wheelchair, is talking to two visitors at The Hold. Behind them are some steps and pink light is coming through the windows at the back of the photo.
Volunteer, Marie, talking to two visitors at The Hold in Ipswich.

Exhibition Steward Volunteer

We want you to bring the exhibition and interpretation areas to life by being on hand to share your knowledge and enthusiasm with visitors! You will mainly be based in the exhibition gallery but there is the opportunity to spend time in welcome area where you can welcome visitors as they arrive and engage them in the fixed interpretation. Our current exhibition is: add exhibition title here

In this role you will be answering questions on and embellishing the exhibition content with extra stories. You will let visitors know what events/exhibitions are currently on or coming up as well as where to find more information. There is also the opportunity to help care for the exhibition by cleaning the exhibition cases and monitoring light levels as well as putting away trails or interactive interpretation.

The role will be on a flexible rota where you can choose the dates and times you wish to volunteer. We have morning and afternoon shifts so you can choose which time suits your schedule. Travel expenses can be reimbursed, and specialist training will be provided by our Exhibitions and Interpretations Officer. 

Exhibition Tour Guide

We have an exciting exhibition programme at The Hold which explores the fascinating stories and records from our archives. We want you to lead groups of visitors on guided tours around our exhibition. You will be explaining the exhibition content in more depth, sharing extra interesting stories about the people and items featured, and encouraging visitors to fully engage with the interpretation. 

Guided tours usually take place on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings during the exhibition run. You can choose to whether you would like to deliver the tour with a partner or conduct the tour solo. Travel expenses can be reimbursed, and specialist in-depth training will be provided by our Exhibitions and Interpretations Officer. 

Local Studies Library Support Volunteer

Our Searchroom and Local Studies Library are open to everyone to do research in our archives. This could range from experienced researchers to those who are starting on their research journeys. We are looking for warm, friendly volunteers to support our Archive Assistants with welcoming researchers, showing them how to use the resources in the library and Searchroom, as well as how to make requests for items from the strongroom.

Alongside giving a warm welcome, some of the tasks you could be doing include:

  • Supporting researchers on how to use our microfiche and microfilm machines
  • Giving suggestions on where to start with research
  • Supporting researchers with locating maps/directories/local studies library
  • Helping researchers to use our catalogues.