Volunteer with Us
We are looking for enthusiastic people who want to work as part of a team and who have a passion for Tavistock! The Trust's volunteers are the backbone of our work and if you'd like to get involved, we'd love to hear from you. We are now offering a wide range of different opportunities – you can find out a bit more about each of them below.
Signing up to join any (or all!) of these teams is a fantastic way to help promote and conserve Tavistock’s heritage. It’s also an opportunity to learn a range of useful skills and to make new friends, as well as being a fun and rewarding experience in its own right! The Trust aims to match each volunteer with roles suited to their interests and experience, and we will do all that we can to enable volunteers with a range of abilities to get involved.
We are committed to a full programme of support and will provide training for each role, as well as generic training in skills that are beneficial throughout, such as dementia awareness and safeguarding.
Our Volunteering Opportunities
Tavistock's Visitor Information Centre (VIC)! This service for visitors and locals alike is entirely provided by our team of volunteer Visitor Information Assistants, with two volunteers on duty at all times during the centre’s opening hours to answer enquiries from visitors and local residents. Smaller groups within the team have also taken charge of specific aspects of the operation, including developing the centre’s retail stock, managing the supply of information leaflets, and handling outreach with local attractions and accommodation providers.
Visitor Information Assistants
Our award-winning Heritage Interpretation Centre tells the story of Guildhall and its links to the mining history of the region. As the ‘eastern gateway’ to the Cornwall and West Devon World Heritage Site, the Guildhall is the ideal place to start exploring the history of Westcountry mining and the story of Tavistock.
The Interpretation Centre shows how the town itself was transformed by the Dukes of Bedford during the mining boom 19th century when they invested some of their mining profits in new public buildings such as the Guildhall combined court and police station and ‘model’ cottages for industrial workers.
Room Stewards are available to provide to support the visitors to the Centre, answer questions and supply an extra background to this fascinating building
Learning & Events Volunteers
A crucial component of the Guildhall Project will be our work with local schools and local families to bring Tavistock’s history to life for children. Our Learning and Events volunteers will help us fulfil this objective by supporting school visits, stewarding family events and, in time, running courses and workshops for school groups in the Guildhall itself. This volunteering role will be exciting and rewarding, with a wide range of responsibilities and opportunities.
If you’re interested in this role, have a look at our Role Profile for more information and then contact us using the form below. Training and support will be provided by our Learning and Participation Officer. While experience of working with children and young people may be an advantage, it is not essential.
Guided Heritage Walk Leaders
We run a range of Guided Heritage Walks which introduce people to the history of our World Heritage Town. As part of the Guildhall Gateway Project, we’ll be expanding this programme by running walks more frequently and on a wider range of subjects – to do this, we're looking for people who are enthusiastic about sharing their love of history with the public. Full training will be provided, so no previous experience or knowledge is needed (although a desire to learn about the history of the town is essential!).
If you're interested in this role or any other volunteering role then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
What value can you bring as a volunteer?
Volunteers are absolutely vital in helping Tavistock Heritage Trust reach its aims and objectives and enriching the quality of the Trust’s work. It doesn’t matter whether you are young or more mature, whether you know nothing about Tavistock or have lived here all your life – as long as you are passionate about heritage, have a desire to learn and want to participate in our work, we’d love to hear from you.
Among other things, volunteers can:
Deliver much of the Trust’s face-to-face contact with the public
Develop a closer, more personal relationship with visitors than that which might be established by paid staff
Provide contacts and networking opportunities that may help to promote and raise the profile of the Trust and its work
Offer specialist knowledge in a variety of areas, such as marketing, finance, training, learning, retail, project management and events management
Provide a connection between the Trust and the local community, as well as with other groups we serve.
What's in it for you?
Spending time as a volunteer with Tavistock Heritage Trust can enable you to:
Build connections with the community of Tavistock and the surrounding area and engage with its history and heritage
Give back to the community by helping visitors and local people understand and appreciate the history and heritage of the Tavistock area
Be part of a high-profile and well-respected social enterprise
Gain experience and learn a wide variety of new skills
Improve your mental and physical health by remaining active, motivated and mentally stimulated
Meet new people and make new friends
There's also plenty of evidence that volunteering (and especially heritage volunteering!) is good for your well-being.
Research undertaken by Age UK in 2017 revealed that engagement with creative and cultural activities, including heritage, makes the highest contribution of 5.75% to one’s overall well-being
Research by the Heritage Alliance has revealed that visiting ‘heritage sites’ has a significant and positive impact on life satisfaction and visits to historic towns and historic buildings were found to have the greatest impact on well-being.