Many of Hampshire’s community museums rely on volunteers who give up some of their free time to help ensure these important local facilities remain open. Here we meet Sue Snow, a volunteer at Westbury Manor Museum in Fareham.
It gets me out and meeting people. I serve tea and coffee, show visitors around and answer their questions. I also help with research and putting together exhibitions. I’ve always had an interest in history and I recently helped to procure a number of artefacts for an exhibition here about the Knowle Mental Hospital. I also help with archiving some of the books we have. So my duties here are really varied and interesting.
Every Thursday afternoon and alternate Saturdays. It is very hard to get volunteers for weekend work.
Obviously, there are a few things I can’t do; carrying a tray of tea, for example. But having a disability is no barrier at all to becoming a volunteer. We have just had a new volunteer start today who has brain injuries. There is work here for people of any ability.
Meeting the public. A lot of older people like to come in regularly to the tea room to have a chat. This month we have a Lego event so we are overrun with children and Lego bricks! It’s a real community venue and I love the social interaction.
Community museums in Andover, Basingstoke, Fareham, Christchurch and Aldershot are now recruiting volunteers. We are also seeking volunteers for Bursledon Windmill and Rockbourne Roman Villa.
To find out more, visit our museum volunteering site or telephone 0845 603 5635.