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Volunteer

Would you like to join the team?

Volunteer leading a walkThe Centre depends on volunteers to keep it going forward and flourishing.  Our volunteers are much appreciated by the many visitors as seen in the comments in the visitors' book.

Different roles

We have a team of about 100 people from the local area and further afield who volunteer on a regular basis at the Centre.  Some volunteers help us with IT, the archive, health & safety, looking after the premises, catering for our events, suppers and external hire of the Centre, accounting, contribute to and help with exhibitions, event planning and leading.  About half volunteer at the Centre over the weekend when the tea room is open, some in the kitchen and some as wardens, meeting and greeting visitors. All our food is home made, including cakes, jams and chutneys and Bettys and Taylors have hired the Centre for meetings a number of times now.  The tea room is an excellent opportunity to introduce passing customers to our wide ranging programme of events that are taking place at other times of the week.

What we offer

We offer you a fun, rewarding and beautiful place to visit and volunteer with the chance to meet lots of new people.  There is a lead volunteer on duty at all times when the Centre is open.  All new volunteers are supported by another more experienced volunteer in the early days and, where appropriate to role, will be included in the rolling cycle of food hygiene and first aid training.  We provide polo shirts, fleeces and aprons for those volunteering in the tea room and as wardens.  A light lunch is provided to those who volunteer for a whole day at the weekend.

Our expectations

From 1 April to 31 October, our weekend opening hours are Saturday and Sunday from 11am-4.30pm.  From 1 November to 31 March we open on Sundays from 11am-4pm.  Some volunteer for half days, which is approximately 3½ hours and some for the whole day.  We ask weekend volunteers to commit to at least one half day per month.  You will need your own transport to reach the Centre as there isn't any public transport unfortunately. 
We're looking for people who are friendly and welcoming to the public, who are adaptable and work well in a team.  At the weekend you'll need to be able to sustain the pressures of a busy tea room to deliver the role with confidence and enjoyment.  The Washburn Heritage Centre Management Committee meets monthly. We'd be pleased to discuss with you how you might fit into any of these roles that you might fancy being involved in.

What do I do next?

If you're not already familiar with the Centre, you might like to call by one day when the tea room is open to see it in action.  You're also very welcome to contact Michelle Metcalfe, Heritage Centre Co-ordinator on centre@washburnvalley.org or 01943 880794 to discuss the roles further.

What do our current volunteers think?

"I enjoy coming as a Heritage Warden as I find the Centre an incredibly friendly place to work and to meet & welcome our many visitors & to feel that they have enjoyed their visit."  Philip H

"As a 'Child of the Washburn Valley' I have many happy memories of my early life living in the Valley. Whenever I can I am content to loan family memorabilia for exhibitions in the Heritage Centre. I enjoy looking at other contributions as these often invoke pleasurable thoughts of bygone occasions."  Michael E

"It might sometimes be hard work in the kitchen, but it is always good fun and appreciated".  Di O

"Getting to meet so many different people living in the Valley really brings heritage to life"  Robin N

"As a Heritage Warden, it is great fun to be part of the team, to meet old and new visitors to the Centre and to encourage their interest in the exhibitions and events.  Generating event bookings, Washburn Society memberships and positive comments in the visitors’ book is always very pleasing."  Ann J

"I have such fun at the monthly craft group that I wanted to help the Centre when I could. All the volunteers are really friendly and I look forward to my sessions."  Liz C

"A fascinating & worthwhile project, helping to discover & record the lives & connections of our local families."    Anne L, archivist's assistant

"Working in the tearoom at the Heritage Centre can be hectic but it’s always enjoyable and rewarding. Great people to work with, appreciative customers, and lovely surroundings."  Sue A

"Great way of meeting with and interacting with the public and also with fellow volunteers."  Cheri B

  • Heritage lottery fund - Lottery funded
  • Harrogate Borough Council
  • Yorkshire Water
  • The Duke of York's Community Initiative