with Ripon Museums Trust

Ripon has a long and rich history which still shapes our unique identity as a city today.  Places like the old Courthouse, the Workhouse and Prison are testaments of how our ancestors lived and worked.  These places were occupied by the people of Ripon, our ancestors, and should not be forgotten.  By preserving these buildings, we are able to share their stories. 

Over the last 40 years, Ripon Museum Trust has worked hard to take care of these sites.  We bring the tales of their inhabitants to life and make them spaces where our local community can explore their own heritage.  All of this would not be possible without the hard work of our incredible volunteer team. 

Volunteers at Ripon Museums feel a sense of purpose working here, knowing they make a difference to Ripon by helping to preserve the stories of its past and by creating places for people to come and learn, explore and enjoy.  They are able to learn new skills, make new friends and contribute to their community. 

Why volunteer with us? 

At Ripon Museums, our volunteers aren’t just important – they’re totally essential to keeping the museum running smoothly. From opening the doors in the morning to discovering the treasures hidden in our collections, our team of volunteers make it all possible. 

Lots of our volunteers have told us how volunteering has boosted their confidence, helped with their CVs, and helped them make new friends. They’ve learnt new skills, formed tight-knit bonds, and really made a difference to the community. Volunteering really is great for your physical and mental well-being because of the sense of fulfilment and belonging enjoyed.

Our team is like one big family and that is the reason our volunteers stay with us for years.

How to Apply

If you think you belong in our brilliant team, please get in touch by completing the form or email [email protected]

Find the right role

There are many different opportunities for volunteering and whatever your skills or background, we have role for you.Freya our Volunteer Manager will find out what you are interested in and make sure you find a position that is perfect for you. Our positions are also flexible and varied so you can make it work for you.

Front Desk 

Front of house volunteers are integral to the running of each of our museums.  Without them, we simply cannot open our doors.  On the Front Desk, you will be responsible for welcoming visitors and selling tickets.  As the first point of contact for many of our guests, you really are the face of the museum.  We are looking for friendly, reliable volunteers who enjoy meeting new people.

What’s involved?

This role has many responsibilities which include issuing tickets, money handling, answering visitors’ questions and promoting visitor opportunities.  All training is provided, and you will be supported by a duty manager and other front of house members.

Is this role for me?

This is a great role if you’re interested in meeting new people and being more sociable.  We are looking for volunteers who are organised and enjoy responsibility.  You should be friendly and approachable, but don’t worry if you’re a little shy, this role has proven that it’s great for boosting confidence. 

Visitor Host

Visitor Hosts make a visit to Ripon Museums standout.  This role is designed to welcome visitors and set the scene before they begin their journey through the museum.  It is a great position for anybody who is enthusiastic about history and sharing their knowledge with others. Whether you are looking to expand your historical knowledge or your social life, this is a fun and dynamic volunteering role.

What’s involved?

In this role you will be working with visitors to make their experience fun, fulfilling and informative.  You will greet them, helping to answer their questions as they begin their tour.  You will be responsible for handing out maps, gathering visitor questionnaires and ensuring that the front of house remains tidy. 

Is this role for me?

If you, like us, want to contribute to creating a fairer society through Ripon’s unique history then you’re the perfect volunteer for this role.  You should be confident speaking to groups  and enthusiastic about your subject matter.  This is another great role where you can develop your social life and meet lots of interesting people. 

Learning Team

We want group visits to Ripon Museums to be inspirational, helping people to understand the past and how they can help make a difference today. This is only possible with the help of our incredible learning team, who bring history to life by delivering interesting, hands-on experiences. If you love sharing your passion for history with others, then this could be the role for you!

What’s involved?

Leaning Team volunteers work together to deliver a range of sessions to our visitors. From leading crafting workshops, baking sessions and facilitating role-plays, this role is as diverse as they come. You will be the one to spark people’s imaginations and make their visits meaningful.

Is this role for me?

We are looking for potential volunteers who want to help get people excited about history and social justice. This role will suit somebody comfortable speaking in front of groups and who enjoys working with children. We provide training and support for every session, so whether you have been a teacher for 50 years or want to embrace a new opportunity to lead a session, this role could be for you.

Family Activities Leader

A museum is so much more than its objects and displays. They are a place where people can discover and connect with new ideas. Family Activities are an essential part of this as they offer families the opportunity to use their creativity to explore the important topics of the museums together. By helping to facilitate these activities you are helping us to make a lasting impression on young people.

What’s involved?

This is creative role where you will help families in a variety of activities based on the themes and ideas in the museums. These activities are simple and easy to pick up, but a family’s experience is greatly enhanced when they are guided by a friendly volunteer. Activities change to reflect the diversity of our amazing collections but some family favourites have included baking Victorian foods, creating a giant snake and ladders board with families and helping children to take fingerprints.

Is this role for me?

This role is perfect for somebody who is friendly and enjoys helping others learn and discover. You don’t need to be the most artistic person but should be open to learning new skills and be keen to encourage creativity in others.

Gardening Team

Our heritage garden is an integral part of the Workhouse Museum. Being able to see, smell and taste a little bit of the past in the vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers we grow really brings history to life for so many people. This is an experience that most heritage sites are not able to provide, so we are truly lucky to have this resource. As part of the Gardening Team, you will be part of a close-knit community who work together throughout the year to keep these incredible gardens thriving.

What’s involved?

No matter your gardening experience or ability, there is a role for everyone in the garden and plenty of opportunities to learn new skills. You will work closely with our head of gardening to help maintain the gardens and grow produce. There is also always tea and cake, another reason why people love being part of this team.

Is this role for me?

This is an incredibly friendly and supportive team that makes everyone feel welcome. If you enjoy being outside and spending time with nature and new friends then this is the team for you.


Do you enjoy uncovering history and connecting with the past? Researching gives you up-close access to objects and stories from our collections, making them relevant and inspiring to our visitors today. Your research will not only feed into our specialist exhibitions, but will help us understand our own history as we grow as an organisation.

What’s involved?

There are lot of different roles in our research team. You may enjoy researching the histories of specific individuals and their lives within the institutions or a broader themes for exhibition topics. You may also be asked to use your research to help create scripts and resource pacts for the learning team. If you have a flare for technology, you could get involved with our efforts to digitise our collections, making them more accessible for others.

Is this role for me?

We are looking for detail driven individuals. You should be able to work independently but enjoy feeding knowledge back into a team. You don’t need previous researching experience but a keen interest in history and heritage is essential and you should be willing to learn new skills. 

Collections Management and Conservation

This role has never been as vital as it is now for the organisation. We are currently working hard to manage and protect our collections, ensuring their futures for future generations. We really need volunteers to come and get involved with helping to move and document the collection. We are also keen to recruit those interested in gaining experience in conservation.

What’s involved?

You will be trained in a variety of skills including textiles conservation, cataloguing and collections management. This is quite a practical role but you must also be good with looking at small details.

Is this role for me?

This is an ongoing project so is good for somebody who would like a to give their time to help us shape the future of our collections whilst learning new skills, including photography and conservation cleaning. We are particularly keen to recruit volunteers interested in gaining experience in conservation and looking to add to their CV. This is a great opportunity is especially for students seeking careers in the heritage sector.

Maintenance Team

We cannot open the doors to the museum without the talents of our Maintenance Team. This dedicated team keeps everything working. They are excellent problem solvers and have good practical skills. If this sounds like you then maybe the Maintenance Team is the place for you.

What’s involved?

This is a very varied role – no day is the same! Our Maintenance Team look after our building so their work could be anything from painting, putting together exhibitions, fixing displays, grounds work, pat testing and building specialist objects.

Is this role for me?

If you have previous experience of a practical vocation or enjoy a bit of DIY then this would be a great fit for you. This is a close-knit team, making it a good place to meet like minded people and contribute to the work of the museums.

Become a volunteer 

If you think you belong in our brilliant team, please get in touch by completing the form or email [email protected]

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