'Overall, I have had wonderfully enjoyable and highly rewarding experiences'. In this blog, Wendy, a volunteer at IiV achiever Museum of London, tells about her brilliant experiences volunteering at the museum.
We also hear from Vanessa Theed, HR Training and Volunteer Adviser, who tells us about the Museum's IiV journey. The Museum of London successfully renewed their IiV in January 2019 year, having held the standard since 2015 - a fantastic achievement.
HOW A RAINY DAY LED TO A VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITY AT THE MUSEUM OF LONDON
Wendy, Museum of London Volunteer
It was a rainy day, in an otherwise dry Autumn, eight and a half years ago that prompted me to go out and explore the Museum of London. That rainy day was the start of my amazing volunteering experience; or more accurately experiences. On entry I noted an advert to try some hands-on archaeology…and that’s where it began..
The session began with a brief presentation on archaeology and included the history of the museum. I was then invited to help re-pack some Roman pottery. That experience, not just viewing artefacts close-up, but being trusted to handle Roman pottery (admittedly already broken but still close to 2,000 years old) really was quite something.
That taster experience was the start of my volunteering across a variety of projects; handling/repacking artefacts, working with school children, leading tours and even engaging people during their visit to the local shopping centre with information about archaeology from their local area!
All the managers of all projects I have been involved with always make it clear that volunteers and what they do is valued by the museum. Volunteers help achieve something that would not otherwise happen.
It is great to know what you do is valued. For me personally, I take joy in what I have gained from my involvement. At times tasks have been challenging; but whether I have been delivering activities for school children, leading tours or showing artefacts there has been support and training to enable me to do this with confidence.
My knowledge and understanding of archaeology and the history of London has grown and I have gained skills in presentation and delivery to a range of audiences. I’ve enjoyed working with different people, each bringing their own skills and knowledge to the team and I have made many friends.
Overall, I have had wonderfully enjoyable and highly rewarding experiences…and it all started with a rainy day!