Volunteering at Woodchester Mansion

Welcoming visitors at Halloween.

Volunteering is key to the survival of the Mansion. We depend on our group of 50+ volunteers to run the Mansion on public Open Days. Volunteers drive the minibuses, welcome visitors and sell tickets, act as tour guides, sell ice-creams, books and gifts from the shop, and generally help out. They are also tour guides and bus drivers for private tours, and serve teas and coffees. Many of our events have volunteers on duty, in a variety of roles from ticket sales to Santa Claus.

Two of our friendly volunteers at the ticket desk – both new recruits in 2023! We always need more helpers…

Volunteering tasks include driving the minibuses that bring visitors to and from the Mansion, welcoming visitors and selling tickets, and being a tour guide.

Selling tickets. Sometimes the queue is fine….    and sometimes a little bit longer.

Just occasionally it snakes across the hall and out of the front door…

Two of our tour guides in action, both inside and outside the Mansion.

Open day volunteers are needed at the Mansion on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays in the summer season from April to October. You can come for a full day from 10:30am until about 5:15pm, with a lunch break, or half-days, 10:30am – 2pm or 2 – 5:15pm. There’s lots of tea and coffee available all day. We have an on-line rota which allows volunteers, once they are trained, to sign up for the times that they want to work. The rota is flexible – you just sign up, either on a regular basis or as convenient, well in advance or at short notice – the choice is yours.

A hands-on day at the Mansion - Architecture & Built Environment undergraduates get to grips with work in lime mortar and basic stone masonry

Occasionally we can find a sit-down job, provided you like children!

And don’t worry that Open Day volunteers are only needed from April to October – we can always find jobs for willing helpers in the winter months. Also we’d particularly welcome people who enjoy and are good at organising – we would like to put on more events and need support with this.

We also have a team of volunteers who work behind the scenes, carrying out the maintenance needed to support the Mansion under the supervision of Max our Operations Manager. This is a popular activity but we do sometimes have vacancies. Tasks are varied and include keeping the grounds tidy, painting and decorating, digging holes (see image above), laying new floors (see below) and other woodwork like constructing picnic benches, and making props for our Halloween celebrations.

A hands-on day at the Mansion - Architecture & Built Environment undergraduates get to grips with work in lime mortar and basic stone masonry

Maintenance volunteers traditionally come on Mondays, though other days are possible, especially from November to March when the Mansion is closed to the public. Again your commitment can be regular or occasional, to suit your skills and other commitments. If you are interested in helping with non-heritage maintenance of the Mansion and grounds then please contact Max Raven, our Operations Manager, on 01453 861541 or max.raven@woodchestermansion.org.uk.

Maintenance volunteers assisting staff with work on the windows (upper images above) and filling in holes in the track.

Our volunteers are a large friendly group of local(ish) people from all walks of life. We all enjoy talking – to each other and to visitors to the Mansion. Volunteering with us enables you to expand your circle of friends as well as learning new skills, and brushing up on old ones. For younger people it can complement experience gained at work and maybe lead to new career opportunities, or create a pathway into employment. For the retired it’s a chance to use your capabilities and experience and help the community. We hold social events for volunteers so it’s not all work!

We give training for all volunteer roles, and you will work alongside a current volunteer until you are confident with what you are doing. We won’t leave you on your own until you say you’re happy to work unassisted.

  • Minibus drivers – must be 25 and have 2 years driving experience
  • Ticket and shop sales – you need to use our till and card reader system, but it’s easy and training is given
  • Tour guides – should enjoy architecture and history, be used to talking to groups. We provide guide notes
  • Maintenance volunteers – need skills in gardening, DIY, woodwork, digging holes, painting, plumbing ….

If you think that you’d enjoy volunteering with us on an Open Day, then please contact our recruitment coordinator, Liz Davenport, liz.davenport@woodchestermansion.org.uk, to arrange a trial day.

Please note – we are unable to take volunteers aged under 16, and only accept 16 – 18 year olds provided a parent or guardian is prepared to volunteer alongside them.

2024 Open Day Season

We are open 11am - 5pm every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays from Friday 29th March to Sunday 3rd November.

Telephone 01453 861541

Woodchester Mansion,

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