Tag Archives: volunteering

We need your help!

25 Jan

Join us for a cuppa and find out more about volunteering

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 wordsworthhouse@nationaltrust.org.uk.

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.


Drop in and find out about volunteering

14 Jan

Volunteering at Wordsworth HouseIf you’re looking for an interesting way to spend a few spare hours each week or fortnight this year, volunteering for the National Trust could be the answer.

Volunteers play a crucial part in helping visitors get the most out of their time here at Wordsworth House and Garden and in the countryside around Derwentwater, and we need more people of all ages to join the team.

If you’re retired or recently moved to the area, volunteering is a great way to widen your horizons. And if you’re keen to return to paid employment, to transfer into the heritage sector or get some broad-based work experience, it’ll be an invaluable addition to your CV.

You don’t need any special skills or knowledge to get involved at poet William’s childhood home. We provide full training and support – all you require is a friendly, chatty manner and to like meeting people.

If you enjoy spending time outdoors in beautiful places, and you’re a dab hand with an open fire, we also also need more helpers to take turns staffing the former Bark House Mountain Base in Borrowdale as a pop-up visitor centre.

Volunteers have spent the last year opening the stone bothy at Ashness Bridge, lighting the fire, saying “muddy boots welcome” and answering people’s queries about directions and walks in the area.

We’re holding events in Cockermouth and Keswick for anyone who’d like to find out more.

Drop into Cockermouth Library, on Main Street, on Tuesday 2 or Saturday 6 February between 9.30am and 12.30pm for a chat.

Or you can meet the National Trust team at Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake on Thursday 11 or Saturday 13 February any time between 10am and 1pm.

Why not join Wordsworth’s friendly volunteers?

2 Feb
Bill Paul

Members of the house and garden volunteer team with gardener Amanda, left


The people who volunteer at Wordsworth House and Garden play a vital part in making it so friendly and special, and we’re looking for more to join them.

You don’t need to be a history buff or an expert on William’s poetry – all it takes to become part of the team is a warm, enthusiastic manner and a few spare hours a week. We’ll teach you the rest!

Manager Zoe tells me she needs people of all ages to greet and chat to visitors, lead house taster tours, play the replica harpsichord, and work in the café, the garden (where I live) and the shop.

Whether you’ve recently moved to the Cockermouth area or lived here all your life, it’s a great way to meet new friends and learn new skills.

The house is open six days a week, including weekends, meaning it’s easy to fit volunteering around school, work, family or other commitments.

So why not drop in for a cuppa on Saturday, 7 February or Thursday, 12 February, between 10am and 1pm, to find out more?

If you can’t make those dates, email wordsworthhouse@nationaltrust.org.uk or call us on 01900 824805.

Ode to Billy Paul…

21 Aug
Bill Paul

Volunteers: Bill, far right, with Amanda, far left, and members of the house and garden team

I’m feeling quite sad at the moment, as one of my closest friends has moved away. Bill Paul, who was a volunteer room guide at Wordsworth House and Garden for 11 years, has moved to live in Yorkshire.

As well as being a knowledgeable room guide, Bill is a very talented musician and I’ve spent many a happy afternoon listening to the sound of his harpsichord playing drifting out of the house.

You could always tell when the last visitors had left because he would switch from classical melodies to his favourite Abba tunes. You’re lucky there’s no audio on this blog, so I haven’t been able to share with you the “melodious” sounds of Head Gardener Amanda singing along!

Our sad loss is the Yorkshire area of the National Trust’s gain, as he’s already making enquiries about volunteering opportunities over on that side of the country.

Amanda, the team and I wish you all the best, Bill – come back and see us soon!

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