The National Trust is looking for people to donate their time and skills at Wordsworth House and Garden, in Cockermouth, where I live, and in the North Lakes countryside.
The Trust cares for over 20 per cent of the Lake District National Park together with many beautiful houses and gardens. As well as helping a fantastic cause, volunteering is a great way to make new friends or broaden a CV.
Zoe Gilbert, Visitor Experience Manager at poet William Wordsworth’s childhood home, said: “As a charity, we’re entirely dependent on the generosity of our members and supporters for everything we do.
“We wouldn’t be able to open the doors each day without our wonderful volunteers to welcome and chat to visitors, lead tours, assist in the café and garden, and ensure everyone has the best possible visit.”
No special knowledge or abilities are needed. Zoe explained: “We’re looking for people with a warm, friendly manner. You don’t have to be a history buff or poetry expert, although either would be a bonus. If you’re a pianist and would like to play our harpsichord, that would be great too.”
Meanwhile, the North Lakes outdoors team is seeking people to meet visitors from all over the world and share their love of the Lake District at Bark House Mountain Base at Ashness Bridge, near Keswick.
Helpers are also needed to welcome people and chauffeur them by Land Rover on the off-road track to Force Crag Mine on five open days each year, and to walk high-use paths in Borrowdale, noting any large repair or maintenance jobs and fixing small problems with a bit of DIY.
There are vacancies for people with research experience to work on plans for commemorating the end of the First World War and the Great Gable war memorial, and there is a three-month internship for someone keen to build a career in heritage management, arts and tourism.
Anyone who can spare a few hours on a weekly or even monthly basis can call into Wordsworth House for coffee and a chat on Saturday 4 February between 9am and 1pm or on Tuesday 7 February any time from 1pm to 4pm. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more details of countryside volunteering, drop into Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake on Saturday 11 or Thursday 16 February between 10am and 1pm, or apply at http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/volunteer.
Wordsworth House and Garden is is open Saturday to Thursday, 11am to 5pm (last entry 4pm), from 11 March to 29 October. Find out more at http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/wordsworth-house.